Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 2 September 21:
[Note: Here is a short video overview of Isaiah 1-39: https://youtu.be/d0A6Uchb1F8%5D
2 Timothy 4:2 — “Reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience.”
In a large part, Christians have lost the essential skill of rebuking with patience and gentleness. Some think we shouldn’t be rebuking at all. Others rebuke in harsh, unloving ways. If you truly love others, you must be willing to tell them the truth. If you are truly loving, you will tell the truth in a loving way, for the other person’s benefit rather than yours.
Be careful not to tell the truth merely to get what you want or to defend your own position. Insisting on your own way is ultimately selfish and unloving, and it also makes you the focus rather than Jesus – ambassadors never represent themselves.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 — Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- Colossians 3:12-17 — Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- Galatians 6:1 — Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
- Ephesians 4:15 — Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ….
- Zechariah 8:16 — These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace.
- Ephesians 4:1-3 — I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- Ephesians 4:25-32 — Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
- 2 Corinthians 13:9, 11 — For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for…. Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
If you can’t speak truth unselfishly and unemotionally, hoping merely for the best for the other party, it is usually best to just keep your mouth shut and pray for them. Never let pride get in the way of your mission of reconciliation – “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) –2 September 21: Today, “reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience.” Whatever the issue, use it to point to Christ.