I don’t want to judge, but

I also don’t want to ignore and be silent when I see a friend headed towards trouble. I suppose that’s decency, or maybe just faithfulness to our friendship. 

But not everyone appreciates correction. Maybe the word correction is a bit too much. It’s often a “nudge” in the direction that might be a better choice for them. 

Or, shall I say that It’s none of my business. I just need to mind my own business and stay out of other people’s business. Let them figure out their own issues. 

But then there are many other scriptures that highlight the value of correction. Several of these are words of Paul the Apostle to Timothy, a young pastor leading a congregation with people older than him. Here are some of those instructions. 

“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2).

And then that instruction to the Lord’s servants.

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:23-26). 

The classic text on correction and instruction: 

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).

The primary focus I’d like to point out of these verses is the attitude of the person doing the correcting. There is a clear focus on encouragement, respect, kindness, patience, endurance, gentleness, and carefulness.

No, I don’t want to judge, but maybe I can be a nudging voice in the right direction — with some gentleness, kindness, patience, and most of all love. 

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