Do not judge lest you be judged. (Matthew 7:1 NASB)
Yesterday I talked a bit about how Church discipline has played out in my life. Let’s take a few minutes and just ponder the other side of this Church Discipline.
I also know many people who have been hurt, pretty badly, by Church Discipline gone wrong. I know folks who have left the Church and walked away from whatever relationship they had with God because men tried to control and manipulate them.
There are many who walk away at the first sign of conflict because they do not want to deal with the thing that God is poking in them through the agency of Church discipline. In my own life it took years in some cases before I finally surrendered, and dealt with some of my issues. It was not until I heard it from a voice I could trust.
There are three (at least – feel free to add more below) things we require in order to exercise helpful discipline.
- Courage – It takes guts to confront things in people's lives.
- Grace – If we just jump in with guns blazing we will do more harm that good.
- Trust – In order for any correction to hit its target, there needs to be a trust relationship.
Clearly, there are times when Church leaders must act to protect the flock when these elements are not in place, and this is important too.
So how do we do it. How do we love folks enough to stir up the courage, grace and trust required to help them grow or to bring them into a restored relationship, either with the body or with Christ Himself?
When we as church leaders or simply as good Christian brothers and sisters, jump immediately to “turn him over to satan” and forget the part about “first take the log out of your own eye” we will run into big trouble in short order.
It comes down to one very big issue.
Are you, church leader, trying to exercise control in someone else’s life?
Are you trying to rescue one who is unknowingly headed for a precipice?
We must in all our dealings, including, and perhaps especially, church discipline exercise all the “One Anothers.”
So get yourself a “plankectomy” and then you can be of some use to the body of Christ. [Tweet This]
Jesus would love to help with that.
I know there is so much more we could talk about here, like walking through Matthew 18’s model for how to correct offenses. But that is for anther time.
I hope these ponderings help.
See you again soon.