I just wanted to get your attention. Now, what do the Scriptures say about rebuke? What does it mean? The word itself, within the context of the Body of Christ, describes a firm but loving reprimand necessitated by behavior that misrepresents Jesus or offends others. Note that the spirit behind any rebuke must be loving. A classic example is seen when Paul withstood Peter because his conduct was hypocritical and even leading others away from the gospel of salvation through faith. There are other uses of the word in ‘unchurched’ settings; for example, Jesus rebuking the elements, and a foul spirit. My concern, though, is the application of rebuke within the family of God. Because we are Christ’s representatives on earth, we need to live blameless lives before the world.

However, as God’s children we should expect Divine reproof. Like Balaam, we can count on the Holy Spirit to reprimand us for works of iniquity. Although the word rebuke has a negative connotation, in reality, it assures us of Jesus’ love for us. To a minister of the Word of God, rebuke is as vital as doctrine. For example, those who listen to false teachers need to be rebuked authoritatively.

Saints, we all need the Lord’s rebuke. In fact if we are wise, we will actually love the instrument through whom the necessary correction comes. Response to the Lord’s dealings reveals our true character. There is a place outside the church for rebuke, as in the case of John the Baptist. (As for rebuking the devil, read Jude 9.) Open rebuke is better than secret love and obtains the favor of the Lord. How we need to break out of the ‘hurt feelings’ mindset and get on with true, heart-felt relationships in Christ!

Mind you, rebuking always deals with iniquity, not someone’s different approach to handling a matter, or differing personal convictions. When done Scripturally, rebuke is a very loving thing, even though it is painful and never easy to do or receive. Rejecting rebuke, though, is self destructive. To refuse reproof sets us on an errant path and only reveals how brutish we really are. Our response to correction is a choice between shame or honor.

Remember, saints, ‘All Scripture…is profitable for…reproof’. Allowing the Lord to correct and change us is indeed a glorious thing.