FEATURE ARTICLE

Monday, May 17, 2021
ibelemedo@yahoo.com
St. Ann's, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies
WE NEED CORRECTION NOT CRITICISM

eloved, don't be so quick to criticize other believers PUBLICLY when they do something you don't understand or agree with.

Remember that we're at different levels of growth and we're also graced differently. Hence, we don't understand everything about God because we all know in part - Eph. 4:1-7; 1 Cor. 13:9.

I'm sure hardly anyone of us would have agreed that it is the Lord that led the prophet Isaiah to walk around naked for three years. Yes you heard right, three years, not three days, three weeks or three months but three years - Is. 20:1-4.

I can imagine how many of us who would have advised Joseph to marry Mary after he found out that she was pregnant "by the Holy Spirit".

Correcting one another doesn't mean to PUBLICLY criticize one another.

Remember that wrong execution (action) doesn't necessarily mean wrong intention. Don't judge people's intentions by their actions because like you, their actions don't always reflect their intentions.

People actions, especially their public actions, are reflections of their zeal.

Zeal is essential for the advancement of God's Kingdom - Is. 9:6-7. However, zeal, without knowledge, can greatly limit our effectiveness - Rom. 10:1-4.

People, in their zeal for the Kingdom of God, can take wrong actions, but be careful to focus on their heart, like God does - I Sam. 16:7.

God always looks at people's hearts, their intentions. You are His child, so do the same.

You can disagree or even call out wrong behaviour, but doing it via social media does not help our cause as the Church.

Paul called out Peter amongst other believers, not to the general public - Gal. 2:11-20.

The general public has no place in our internal church business.

Your PUBLIC CRITICISM of other believers and your attempt to distance yourself from them, would not necessarily make the world love you.

Trust me, nothing you say or do, will make the world LOVE you - Jn. 17:14; 1 Jn. 2:15-17.

There is NEVER a time when believers criticizing other believers in the general populace, helps God's Kingdom to advance. It NEVER DOES and it NEVER WILL.

There is no place where the world is called to judge the Church. The world is a point of contact for persecution and tribulations for the church - Jn. 16:33; 17:14. Correcting other believers under the banner of the world or in a public place, will only bring us more persecutions and tribulations. But thank God Jesus has already overcome on our behalf so we win all the time - Jn. 16:33; 1 Cor. 15:57-58.

This is not written to stop us from correcting people. It is not written for us not to call out wrong behaviour, and those who persistently do wrong. It is simply encouraging us to do it in a way that helps the church. There is a proper way to behave in the church, and we must not allow ourselves to be pressured into doing things that won't glorify God. Shaming any other believer will certainly not glorify God.

Correct people, but do it as PRIVATELY as possible - Matt. 18:25-20.

Of course, there is a place for PUBLIC CORRECTION not PUBLIC CRITICISM. However, for the church, the only meaningful "PUBLIC place" is the CHURCH, not the general populace. It is the only recognizable "PUBLIC place" for the correction of believers - 1 Tim. 5:20.

When you Publicly correct people, focus primarily on the action not on the intention. Focus primarily on the action and not on personalities. Focus primarily on Word oriented principles - 2 Tim. 3:15-17.

I remain committed to making your life better. Keep feeding your faith on God's Word and starve your doubts to death. Stay strong. I love you - Dr. David Ibeleme

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