Preach the Word#7. “Caring Enough to Correct.”

Preach the Word#7. “Caring Enough to Correct.”

I had the honour of meeting Jimmy Jividen in the mid-1990s when he spoke at one of the Southern Africa Bible College Lectureships. He has since gone on to be with the Lord. Jimmy was a powerful gospel preacher and an effective writer. I can’t speak too highly of him. While speaking, he mentioned his appreciation that his book, “Caring Enough to Correct,” had been well received by the brotherhood and prayed that it would continue to be a blessing. I believe his prayer has been answered many times over since.

Correcting someone is a task full of trepidation, reluctance, difficulty, and necessity all at the same time. Often, in our vain effort to “avoid making a bad situation worse by saying something,” our late intervention ends up reflecting the sentiments of the old song, “Too much, too little, too late!”

As much as all of us need to be corrected along the Christian way, nobody really wants it, or appreciates it (at the time, anyway).

But reprove one another we must. Otherwise, our neglect of duty is proof of our lack of care.

“Speaking the truth in love” and “Confronting a brother in his sin” are not mutually exclusive ideas. In fact, done in the spirit of Christ, they are one and the same thing in the eyes of God.

The ultimate goal of correction is not the conviction of sin (for the demons are convicted of their sin and they do not plan to change). The goal is “to get on with our Christian life together!” We all say and do stupid, foolish, and sinful things. It should be natural for us, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to sort things out as we go along. That these problems can get so far out of hand is often a clear indication of our lack of close friendship.

Friends care enough to correct—Jesus did!

John Staiger

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