We’ve been exercising control over our tongue, learning how to take it out of “reverse”, into “neutral”, and finally into “drive”. We covered “first gear” yesterday. Today: “second gear” or how to use the tongue as a wise reprover and teacher.
Rebuke is actually a good thing. When you bring an appropriate rebuke to a wise man, it is welcomed. But there are some guidelines to consider.
We must practice discretion. As we saw above, correction is treasured by the obedient, the wise man. Take care and think first. Consider your audience carefully.
Great power is demonstrated in this verse. But it is accomplished through endurance and kindness. Our words must be gentle, exhibiting patience. Much can be accomplished, great influence realized, but it may take time. If we want our entreaties and words to be welcomed, they must be kind as well.
Maintain meekness and humility when bringing words of correction or reproof, always remembering your own state of need before Him. Anything you have to bring into the situation was given to you by the Holy Spirit. It is not your own. We stand in need of grace as much as our brother.
We are responsible to share truth. Therefore we must learn truth. Be students of the Word of God. There is no other trustworthy source of truth.
I love that imagery; our speech should be enhanced, if you will, with grace — kindness and mercy should overflow from a heart of love. It flavors every word we speak. Beautiful. Lovely. This is as good as it gets! But you don’t buy grace at the nearby grocery store. Time in His presence, receiving grace for your own thirsty soul — that is where one obtains such precious goods. Soak in His grace; we must minister from a heart steeped in grace.
So we see that speaking truth in love and grace is a much needed ministry in the body of Christ. Begin preparing today. He needs you to do your part!