Readers: Please comment to help me know when to rebuke and when to love.
In the past, I’ve been judgmental, aiming for perfection in myself and imposing it on others.
Recently, a girlfriend has dropped out of her Bible study and is going to church less often, spending lots of time with a new romance. I’d heard they’d moved in together. I want the best for her and want her to stay connected to God.
How do I know when it is a time for rebuke or a time for love?
Matthew instructs (7:1-3), “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
James 4:12, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? “
Whereas in Luke 17:3 there is a command to rebuke a friend, “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
James (5:19-20) indicates that helping a friend turn from sin will save his soul: “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” Galatians 6:1
So, with my friend; should I rebuke her, or love her?
Blessings, my friend,