Sometimes we need another follower of Christ to look us in the eye and tell us that we need to change. We need to be told that we are wrong. We need to be told to quit acting the way we are acting because it doesn’t fit with following Jesus.
We need to be lovingly corrected.
There are also times when we need to be the ones to do the correcting.
One of the key responsibilities in disciple making is helping people, through loving correction, align their lives with right Kingdom living. I call this The Moment of Correction.
One moment that sticks to me happened when I was a senior in college. That year God brought Tim into my life. I consider him to be one of the most important people in my spiritual journey.
One day I was excited to tell him about something that I had been invited to be a part of (I’m going to be vague on some details here). It was a unique opportunity that only a few were invited into.So there I was telling Tim all about it, how much fun it was going to be and how I could not wait.
He listened to me and then when I was done, he looked me in the eye and graciously said, “You know that you can’t do that any more. How does that fit with living for Christ?” I was caught off guard and it stung. It wasn’t so much that my plans were “evil” but they were not wise for someone who was trying to put Jesus on display for others.
Tim corrected me and I needed it.
The Moment of Correction is seen multiple times in the relationship between Jesus and His disciples. One example is in Luke 22:24 while they were sharing the Passover meal. Jesus had just told them that one of them was going to betray Him. So, instead of focusing on Jesus, they got into a selfish argument over which of them was the most important. It was as if they were saying, “There is no way I would betray Jesus because I am so awesome.” This was not the first time they had this argument (Luke 9:46). They were slow learners like me.
What does Jesus do? He says, “Kings like to throw their weight around and people with authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It’s not going to be that way with you…let the leader act the part of the servant (MSG).” Or as Tim told me, “You know you can’t do that.”
Jesus was correcting the disciples out of love to point them to the better way of the Kingdom. When we are discipling others, we need to have the courage to do the same when the time is right.
Correcting people is never fun but can be very powerful when done in love and grace.
Here are a few things I pray when I am in The Moment of Correction:
1. Pray for the leading of the Spirit. We do not confront people to make them more like us but to cooperate with God in helping them become more like Christ. We need the Spirit for that.
2. Pray for humility. Confrontation is not an opportunity to show off that we are right or better. When we are prideful it is impossible to lovingly confront.
3. Pray to be gracious. We need to be reminded that we all make mistakes and people need grace and truth. They need to be treated in such a way that encourages change.
4. Pray for understanding. We need to be reminded that when there is accurate understanding of the issue then resolution comes faster.
Questions to help you lovingly correct the one you are discipling.
- How does what you are doing fit in with what you understand it means to follow Jesus?
- Do you see the error in your thinking/acting?
- Are you feeling any conviction or have you become comfortable with your sin?
- How could your thinking and acting have any negative impact on people around you?
- What are you willing to do to have a real change in your heart?
- Have you asked God for forgiveness? Have you asked people for forgiveness?