At One Community Church, we present words of reflection written by one of our partners in the form of a devotional. This week’s devotional entry was written by Daniel Chamberlain.The Word:
“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NASB)
At my last job, my responsibility was to help my supervisor oversee the members of our team. One day, a team member communicated a personally hurtful message about another one of our team members. The nature of the message carried serious implications for both of them. The situation quickly became a problem that needed to be reported to human resources, where the only likely result was the termination of the team member who sent the message. In the end, I spoke with both of them – first individually, and finally, together. With the team member who the message was about, I pleaded with him to offer forgiveness to his offender. I empathized with him and helped him process his emotions regarding the situation. With the team member who sent the message, I pleaded with her to see the wrong she caused, and how her actions affected her family and her team. Eventually, with God’s help, I was able to support the offended team member in coming to a point of forgiveness, and help the offender see the results of her actions, and find the humility to apologize. In the end, peace was brought between them.
What approach do we usually take when speaking with our friends, family, or co-workers about a wrongdoing? How would we like to be approached if we needed to be corrected? Think about ways we can lovingly correct those with whom we interact.
This week, as we encounter situations where we must correct those around us, let us remember to prioritize loving the other person above all. Let us communicate correction in a way that honors the other person, preserves their dignity, and above all, reaffirms our love for them.
Lord, when we must correct each other, help us to love one another, seek each other’s interests above our own, and bear one another’s burdens. Amen.