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Rebuking as a Part of Love?

August 23, 2011

Titus understood his role.  He was to be a leader-finder.  He was given certain criteria to find the “right man for the job.”  What I am concerned with today and what stuck out to me was v.10-16, Paul makes it clear that this task will be exceedingly difficult.  He was given some hard realities in people-work.

To me it’s reminiscent of when the Lord told Jeremiah to go prophesy to Judah to turn from their evil ways, but they won’t listen.  Paul is letting Titus know that this is not easy task.  He even quotes Epimenedes who was a Cretan poet, who said “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”  I will have to admit, this doesn’t sound much like our culture at all…..(sarcasm is thick).  Paul then essentially says, “He’s right, that’s why you will have to stay on them like white on rice, so that they stay on track!”  Then he tells them about those crazy Jewish myths…you remember the letter I sent to the Galatians about 10 years ago…let me sum that up…grace killers!   There are people out there who want to distort what you are doing, they have nothing better to do than attempt to ruin the work of the Gospel.  But you are to rebuke them for their benefit and yours.

Amidst all this Titus is to work with these people, love them, bring them along.  But by the power of the Spirit, and the power of the Word we are to lead with love!  What we can learn from this is “rebuking sharply” as the NIV puts it, is part of love and part of shaping people.  We have to be willing to take it and we have to be willing to give it as leaders.  Christians are often offended far too easily.  We need to put ourselves off and put others first, then we will see how rebuking is actually a form of love whether we are being rebuked or we are the ones rebuking.    The point of the rebuke is for the benefit of everyone “so that they will be sound in the faith.”  I am thankful for the friend who loves me enough to rebuke me.

Lead with Love

Dave

 

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