The definition of reprove is: to scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent.
When was the last time a brother or sister in Christ reproved you? In a world where everyone’s statements matter. Where any experience makes that person an automatic authority of that subject. Where everyone has their own truth and is allowed to tout it to whomever will listen. I think it is a good question to ask oneself.
And if it has been a long time since someone has corrected the dastardly ways you behave, can I kindly suggest it isn’t because you really are that great of a human being. Let me quote Romans 3:10-12 –
None is righteous, not one; no one understands; no
one seeks for God. All have turned aside;
together they have become worthless; no one does good,
not even one.
Jesus gave us instruction on how to reprove our fellow brother. In Matthew 7 he says WHEN we reprove/judge we must take out the log in our own eye so we may see better, but a lot of us stop there and hesitate to assist in taking the speck out of our brother’s eye.
If it has been a long time since you have been reproved by a fellow saint, here are some reasons maybe why:
1. You are easily offended.
This is probably the main reason you haven’t been reproved. Most Christians are very aware of the feelings of others and it could be that your Christian friends and family are afraid of hurting your feelings by telling you some truths that could be damaging your testimony, sanctification or soul. Remember, we are to help and build one another up (I Thess. 5:11) and part of that process can be a bit painful. And even if the truths are not told in love, but out of spite, remind yourself that this sin in your life doesn’t change your status with God positionally. You are still His and nothing will ever change that. (Romans 8:38-39). So get over your offense, quit your sin if there is a sin to quit and God still loves you and the other Christian.
2. You are hiding.
Could the reason no one reproves you be because no one hasn’t really gotten to know you? As Christians we are meant to do life together. When Jesus prayed specifically for future Christians, he prayed this: “I do not ask on behalf of these (the 12), but for those also who believe in Me through their (the 12) word (YES THAT’S YOU); that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent me.” I love this whole chapter because it lets us into Jesus’ prayer life! But do you see what He just prayed? You cannot be united with anyone all by yourself. This whole prayer presupposes your life being involved in the life of other Believers. And your life includes your mess, your sins, your nasty, you. And if you only give your “good” side for other Believers to see, you forfeit the opportunity to potentially help a fellow saint who may be struggling with the same sin pattern as you. (James 5:16). You throw away an opportunity to give the Gospel, and frankly you are being fake. Spend time with other Christian, so much time that they can call you out when you are not being real with them.
3. You are proud.
Pride is such a hard sin to see in oneself because you think you are right. It blinds us to the reality that we are actually awful sinners. It justifies our shortcomings, and our outbursts. It coddles our little sins and tells us it really isn’t that bad. It places us on a pedestal and gives us the right to look down on others. I struggle with pride daily. It is a lack of humility. Pride is the root of all sin because it tells us what we are doing is right and what God says is wrong or untrue. Could it be that no one reproves you because you are too proud to be told anything? That you give off a vibe that you are so righteous that any rebuke is met with a harsh reminder of the other Believer’s sin? Who are they to tell me I am sinning when they themselves are a Jezebel or an Ahab? Ask yourself “Who is the chief of all sinners?” and if you can’t say “I am”, then can I lovingly reprove you that you too nailed Jesus to that cross and he bore every single one of your pitiful sins too? The proud Christian is the hardest kind of Christian to reprove.
4. People are clueless.
There could be a very legitimate reason you haven’t been reproved just simply because American Christians don’t know that this is what they are supposed to do with each other. In other countries I have visited, Christians are constantly telling each other the wrong things they are doing. In one church, I knew the sin issues of all that were at the church that day, and it wasn’t gossip because the people they were talking about were all just nodding in agreement saying “yeah, we need to get right with the Lord”. And the preacher’s wife who was telling me all this was like “yeah, they keep telling me that!” And by contrast, here in the US, we have idolized privacy. And it is sinful. This has allowed certain sins to grab a hold of us so tightly that we are callous to its blows. We excuse so many secular behaviors that other Christians in other countries are shocked at our worldlinesss. All in the name of grace (trying not to be a legalist) and respecting each other’s lives, we watch as our Christian culture deteriorates right before our eyes. And we are all part of it. How many times have we seen pictures on social media where a sister or brother in Christ is wearing something inappropriate, but we say nothing. When a Believer uses awful language, but we let it slide. We prefer to gossip behind their backs instead of lovingly pointing out our concern, based on God’s Word, after we have removed our log. We fear we may be seen as self-righteous. As hypocrites. As busy-bodies. May it not be! Read Matthew 7, all of it, not just the first verse. And then remove the speck of your brother’s eye. It is not just okay to do so, it is Biblical
5. They don’t want to be reproved
The last reason I will mention is very simple. It could be you have not been reproved because the ones who should be reproving you don’t want to be reproved back! This could be you. Do not fear my fellow brethren, although being reproved stinks, when you take what is said in humility – regardless on how it was given – I promise it will sanctify you. Learn from it, pray about it with the person who is reproving you. And move on in the joy of your salvation. Isn’t it good to know that the person reproving you doesn’t really know how truly bad you are. They just know about that one thing, not the 50 other dastardly things you have done when no one was watching you!
I write this blog because I was recently reproved and it sucked! Reproof is not meant to be fun, but meant to grow us. Paul said:
For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; . . .-
for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while – I
now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful
to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God,
so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:8-10
Yes, I licked my wounds. I pouted, I justified my motives, but at the end of the day I did lack humility. My brother in Christ was right. He saw a sin in my life, I didn’t see. I couldn’t see. I wanted to lash out at his imperfection. At his audacity. And even though I thought I was right, being right at the wrong time, is still wrong. I may tell you about this exchange later, but not right now. So please respect my privacy 😛
My dear, dear Christian friend, could I challenge you to place trust in another brother or sister in Christ and give them permission to reprove you? And in turn ask them if you could speak truth into their life if it is necessary? His Word says:
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. . . . My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. – James 5:16, 19-20
#Christian #christianliving #reproved