๐Ÿ‘‘ To Rebuke Is Not To Nuke! ๐Ÿ’ฅ

โ€œThou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon himโ€ (Leviticusย 19:17).

Years ago, a television commercial reminded people that โ€œfriends donโ€™t let friends drive drunk.โ€ In that same spirit, our text reminds us that caring Christians donโ€™t let their friends grieve the Spirit by continuing in sin (Eph.ย 4:30). If you truly love a brother in Christ who persists in a path of transgression, you need to rebuke him, โ€œand not suffer sin upon him.โ€

The problem is, when we think ofย rebukingย someone, we generally think of a drill sergeant chewing a soldier up one side and down the other! And itโ€™s true that God once said, โ€œI will execute great vengeance upon themย with furious rebukesโ€ย (Ezekiel 25:17). But a quick check of the context of that verse will show that God was speaking of furiously rebukingย His enemies. Ifย allย rebukes were supposed to be โ€œfuriousโ€ rebukes, God wouldnโ€™t have had to specify that He planned to rebuke the Philistines โ€œwithย furiousย rebukes.โ€

Yet how often well-meaning Christians seek to obey Leviticusย 19:17ย by unloading on a brother like a nuclear bomb when he sins! This despite the fact that the dictionary defines โ€œrebukeโ€ asย toย chideย orย scoldย someone. And this despite the fact that every time weโ€™re toldย what men sayย when they rebuke someone in the Bible, they always use words like the ones Josephโ€™s father used to rebuke him:

โ€œโ€ฆhis fatherย rebukedย him,ย and said unto him,ย What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to theeโ€ฆ?โ€ (Genesis 37:10).

Rather than going ballistic on his son, Jacobย reasonedย with him,ย asking aboutย his dream, and explaining in a respectful manner why he thought Joseph was wrong to be saying such things. Later, when God Himself โ€œrebukedโ€ Balaam (II Pet.ย 2:15,16), He chose to do so through the humblest of animals, to teach us that rebukes should always be delivered in the spirit ofย humility. Consider the deferential words of the Fatherโ€™s rebuke:

โ€œWhat have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three timesโ€ฆAm not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?โ€ (Numbers 22:28-30).

Speaking through the dumb animal, Godย gentlyย rebuked His prophet, reasoning with him, trying to get him to think about what he was doing and consider the wrongfulness of his ways. Sort of like the Lord later โ€œrebukedโ€ the apostles when they wanted to call fire down from Heaven on Samaria, saying, โ€œYe know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy menโ€™s lives, but to save themโ€ (Lukeย 9:55,56).

In closing, itโ€™s still true that if you โ€œrebuke a wise manโ€ that โ€œhe will love theeโ€ (Pr. 9:8), and โ€œhe that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongueโ€ (Pr. 28:23). But these things are only true if you manage to rebuke your brother โ€œwith all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in loveโ€ (Eph. 4:2).

So remember, when it comes to rebukes,ย no nukes! source

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