Friday, January 28, 2011

Journey of Faith Friday: Love Behind Correction


Love Behind Correction
*This was originally written April 12, 2007.  Updated from my old school myspace archives.
"The more bad choices you make, the less bad your choices seem."

I had to think about that quote and what it meant to me last night, while in a discussion with someone I care deeply about.  We were not discussing our own bad choices, but the choices of people in our lives. People we treasure, as friends. 

When is it time to correct a friend, a true brother/sister in Christ regarding a situation that can or may be leading to sin?  It is hard to understand the issue because so many people in our society think we should do what we want and that no one should tell us what we should or should not be doing.  However, that is not what Scripture says.  Scripture encourages us to lead the ones we love away from sin and if it continues to correct them out of love.

Until last night, I did not realize how love can truly motivate correction (except the correction that comes from a parent).  To love a friend so much that you are willing to risk their friendship in hopes to stop their sin pattern, in hopes to promote purity and faithfulness in their future marriage.  This morning, it is an amazing love that I am beginning to understand.

I thought the correction was harsh and still am not sure I agree with the final decision, but I do not question the motivation behind it.  Instead, I desire friendships with women who love me enough and care enough about my walk with the LORD to correct me, even if it initially angers me.  I am not encouraging legalism and/or judgement, only deep concern and love for people. 

I was asked to pray and study God's Word surrounding the issue, so that I may better understand their decision.  I couldn't wait, so last night I opened God's Word and came across a few Scriptures with some applications:

  • 2 Corinthians 2:4  Paul writes, "For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you."  (as he was correcting the church in Corinth)
  • Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiples kisses."
  • 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it-I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while-yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance....Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
  • Galatians 6:1-6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.  But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.  Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.  Each one should test their own actions.  Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.  Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.  
    These are just a few Scriptures that made me realize the intention was not to hurt, but correct, encourage, motivate, and love.  I realized the wrong thing to do would be turn away, because we don't want to face the situation; isolate them by gossiping about their problem; turn others against them; blast them with the laws of God.  None of  which were done.  Instead, a group of friends, loved one of their own enough to correct him, hoping that bad choices will always be seen as bad and that he would be led to repentance.  

    What have I learned since writing this almost three years ago?  Sadly, very little.  I learned the principle that correcting the sin of a friend, out of love, is beneficial to the friend and the kingdom of God.  I have also learned that unless I put the words I write into action, it will remain merely that...WORDS!  Because while learning the principle, I have been filled with pride and judgement.  I have continued to ignore the sinful situations of friends I claim to love.  I have isolated them by gossiping about their problem.  I have turned others against them.  And I have blasted them with the laws of God...behind their back.  Oh the sin of self that needs correcting.

    I am thankful for the grace of God.  For His filling and giving of second chances.  Chances to start a new.

    You can read previous Journey of Faith posts HERE.

    Every Friday, I post about the work God is doing or has done in my life, as I journey on this road of faith.

    How is God working in your life as you journey with Him?

    Would you consider sharing it with us today?

    If you decide to share...enter the URL to your exact post below.  If you join, please help us find one another by sharing the "Journey of Faith" graphic within your post.   

    Next Friday:  I pray you will join me next week in sharing about the work God is doing in your life.   Feel free to write about the same topic I choose or anything that God is doing in your life.  

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    Kindra said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Kindra said...

    What convicting truth you've spoken. To be able to graciously share a concern with a friend out of a Christ-centered love for them and their walk with the Lord takes strength and courage that I certainly have seldom had. But then I ask myself "Would I want a true friend to speak God's truth into my heart in order to bring me to repentance and closer fellowship with the Lord?" and the answer is "Yes." Thanks so much for sharing dear friend of mine.

    Carolina said...

    LOVED the post and verses you decided to share today! You hit on a topic that's been on my mind this week and this was very helpful.

    I agree with you that bringing the truth up to a friend can be very difficult. It's much easier to not say anything and take the easy way out (which I tend to do naturally) but thankfully the bible teaches otherwise.

    Mathew 18:15-17 is a verse I always go back to when seeking guidane in this area. It's helped me this week specially at work!

    Anonymous said...

    Great! Cheers for doing this piece of writing! It was very helpful.

    Anonymous said...

    Wonderful content! It's good for a new blogger such as me personally.

    Rosie Nixon Fluerty said...

    Thankyou Amber - sometimes it is so hard for us to "tell it as it is to our loved ones" - I know I've been told before that I'm being judgemental and get scripture on that quoted back at me. I've then said no more and left the rest to the Lord but prayed about the situation.