Friday, 11 June, 2021
By Prathab V
Luke 17: 3-4 (HCSB)
A few years ago, a church elder committed a very serious offence. It was an alleged criminal offence. He was accused of embezzling church funds, which was entrusted under his care. The church was poor but they have given generously over the years.
When the offence was pointed to the elder by the church Pastor, he cynically brushed it off and denied it altogether. He claimed that he was merely borrowing the money and would return it as soon as he has the funds. To cut a long story short, the church went into a crisis of leadership and was torn apart. It was a very difficult time for the small church. I could only pray for the church and encourage the pastor. When the matter was brought up to the congregation, surprisingly, some church leaders supported the elder instead of the Pastor. How tragic!
Accepting rebuke and correction is not an easy thing to do. As Christians, we pray that we remain humble and teachable. We boldly proclaim that we want to change our ways, by singing hymns every Sunday in church.
However, God does not always speak to us audibly. Sometimes, He uses others to speak to us instead. Here, church leaders are specially placed in a difficult spot which affects their pride. What if God uses a young Christian to rebuke the leaders? Would church leaders be willing to be rebuked or admonished by a younger Christian?
In my observation, most of us (including leaders) tend to get defensive when criticisms are thrown at them. Some deflect the blame and sometimes even provide flimsy excuses for errors.
Charles Spurgeon has this to say about receiving a rebuke: “We are one in Christ; let us be friends with one another; but let us never be friends with one another’s error. If I be wrong, rebuke me sternly; I can bear it, and bear it cheerfully; and if ye be wrong, expect the like measure from me, and neither peace nor parley with your mistakes.”
My prayer is that we pray and seek the Lord when rebuke or admonishment comes our way. Our comfort and encouragement come directly from Jesus, who also encouraged us to forgive the offender.
Jesus said: “ Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4, HCSB).
Lord Jesus, please help me to be humble always like you. Let me not brush away criticisms against me. Help me to accept all rebukes, Lord. In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.
查尔斯•司布真 (Charles Spurgeon) 在说到关于受到劝戒时有此一说：“我们在基督里是一体的；让我们彼此成为朋友；但让我们永远不要与彼此的错误成为朋友。如果我错了，请严厉斥责我；我可以承受，并且愉快地承受；如果你错了，请期待我对你采取同样的做法，不要粉饰太平，也不要与你的错误妥协。”