Offering Correction

“The best men are severe to themselves, tender over others.” -Richard Sibbes

How to receive correction from others was the subject of the previous post. In this post, we will think about how to offer gracious correction to others. I will once again turn to David Mathis’ Habits of Grace as he offers 7 steps toward giving “correction that is truly Christian.” (pg. 189)

  1. Check Your Own Heart First

“First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” -Matthew 7:5

  1. Seek To Sympathize

“Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” -Matthew 7:12

“Consider the manner in which you’d want to be approached with such an observation, and give extra effort to make sure it comes off as a word of brotherly correction, not condemnation.” (pgs. 190-1)

  1. Pray For Restoration

“…pray before confronting them…(pray) that you would give your word of correction with sufficient gospel preface, that they would receive your loving reproof, and this if they resist in the moment, God would soon soften their heart to the degree that your observation is true.” (pg. 191, emphasis mine)

“Pray and speak toward restoration, not merely righting wrongs and appeasing your own judicial sentiment.” (pg. 191)

  1. Be Quick

“Don’t let manifestly sinful patterns fester.” (pg. 191)

“The ideal is…that sin is regularly nipped in the bud rather than given time and space to grow into the tall nasty weed it will become.” (pg. 192)

  1. Be Kind

“What makes a corrective word to be truly Christian is not only explicit reminders of gospel truths, but also a tone and demeanor that matches our Master.” (pg. 192, emphasis mine)

  1. Be Clear And Specific

“Before approaching someone with a corrective word, get it clear in your own mind what you’re observing and how it may be harmful.” (pg. 193)

  1. Follow Up

“If they receive it well, follow up with a note or call or conversation, and commend that evidence of grace in their life. If they don’t respond well, follow up with some further expression of love for them, perhaps a reminder that you have nothing to gain but their good, that you’re happy to be wrong if the correction was pretty subjective, and that you’re praying for them as they consider your observation.” (pg. 193, emphasis mine)

No matter what, whether we are giving or receiving correction, may we all walk in humility seeking gospel faithfulness and God’s glory.

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” -Galatians 6:1

About Pastor Matt

Matt Baker is the Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church.
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