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)

The Story:
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.

The Reflection:
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.

The Application:
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.

The Prayer:
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.