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Posts Tagged ‘reprimand’

Verse 1: “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.”

Back in my football officiating days, a veteran referee told the tale of how you can sometimes preventively officiate without having to use your whistle and flag. He was working a junior high game in a line judge role, and saw a linebacker increasingly getting into “extra-curricular” pushing and shoving after the whistle. He knew ahead of time that this kid was a stellar, outstanding student, and probably was getting caught up in the game. So, during the end of a pass play, he barked out his number to get his attention, and said, “Son, cut that out! You’re a better ball-player than that and you know it!” The young man mulled it over a second, apologized to the official, and straightened up the rest of the game. He played well, and didn’t get a flag thrown on him, because my friend called it to his attention before he would have had to reign him in with a penalty. He did with it a gentle reprimand as opposed to the harsh, public scolding a flag and penalty would’ve given. (It should be noted that this doesn’t always work on every kid, but the referee was trying to point out to try this where you could.)

Paul was giving similar advice. We all sin…and sometimes we have a fellow Christian “call us out” on it…but that should be done privately, in Christ-like love and compassion. Only if the brother has hardened his heart to the rebuke do we then escalate the reprimand (and the Bible speaks as to how to do this). Sometimes an instant public “look what he did!” can do more harm than good. Our goal as a fellow Christian is to restore our brother…keep him in the game, as it were, not see him get kicked out.

Something to think about.

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verses 8-9: “For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while—I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.”

Nobody likes to be punished or scolded. And sometimes we are sorry—but sorry that we got caught, not truly sorrowful for our actions for which we were caught. I never understood the phrase “this will hurt me a lot more than it will hurt you” as a child (I always thought, yeah, I’m the one getting the whipping here!), but as an adult, and especially a father, I understand it very much.

That’s true for young people and old people alike! The older we get, the more we’re prone not to want to accept reprimands. I was driving home through Auburn on Sunday, when I got pulled over by a policeman; my first thought, “what’d I do???” This nice young man was friendly but professional, and explained that, although I came to a legal stop at a traffic light and turned right, there was a sign between the lights (which I failed to see) that prohibited right-on-red. All I could do was apologize and admit I was wrong. Now thankfully, he let me off with a written warning, and though I was sorry I got caught, I was grateful that the cop pointed out I had been lax in observing traffic signs…the outcome could’ve been much worse! I was sorry that I failed to notice the signs, and prayerfully, that won’t happen again.

If God reprimands you today, accept it for what it truly is…a loving Father trying to keep His children from destruction. He’s not being mean, He loves you.

Have a blessed day!

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