10 healthy rebukes.
Luke 17: 3-6 “So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”
There are times that a rebuke is needed. The word means ‘to express strong disapproval of someone, to speak seriously, to warn’ in order to prevent an action or bring one to an end.
There are a lot of rebukes that lead to division and hurt. Can there ever be a healthy rebuke? Here are 10 thoughts:
- A sin needs a rebuke from the one sinned against, v3.
- It will be a healthier rebuke if we see the sinner as family, our brother or sister, v3.
- A rebuke is for the purpose of repentance which leads to forgiveness, v3.
- The one who rebukes has relationship in sight, v3.
- A rebuke is not to gain advantage or to harm but it leads to the eventual surrender of the one rebuking as they forgive the sinner, v3.
- A rebuke may be ignored or non-effectual, the sinner may continue to sin and keep coming back, the rebuke may need patience, v4.
- The measure of the rebuke must not increase even if you spend all day rebuking the same person, it should still lead to forgiveness not division, v4
- This controlled and compassionate rebuke seems beyond us at times, v5.
- The rebuke needs faith because without it you can never live a life of forgiveness, v5.
- It is easier to rebuke into forgiveness than move a mulberry tree into the sea. If we can do the latter with a little faith then we can muster enough faith that God can restore that relationship, v5.