ADVERTISING
 
Friday, June 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Migration
Do Christians in your country have a Bible-based understanding of how migrants should be treated?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



 

Rebuking: A lost Art? (Daniel 4)

Are we genuinely interested in seeing the person restored to a correct path, or are we taking the opportunity to put him or her down?

FAITHFUL UNDER PRESSURE AUTHOR Michael Gowen 31 JANUARY 2015 23:50 h GMT+1
building night Photo: Ryan McGuire (CC).

Not many of you reading this are likely to be called before a ruler and have to say to him such difficult things as Daniel did to Nebuchadnezzar - who was not just any king, but the absolute ruler of the greatest empire the world had ever seen, a man who could raise people up or have them executed with a word. Yet all of us are faced with situations from time to time where we sense God encouraging us to warn somebody about a course of action which they are taking: a colleague at work, a friend, a member of our family, maybe even our boss or a church leader. What are we to do?



The Bible is clear about the importance of rebuke. In the book of Proverbs, which is designed to align our conduct with God’s wisdom, the word ‘rebuke’ occurs no less than 16 times. For example, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love” (27:5); “Like an ear-ring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise person’s rebuke to a listening ear” (25:12); “The person who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise” (15:31). So how can we ensure that, if we have to give a word of rebuke or correction, it is life-giving and not destructive?



There are three dangers here. The first is to confuse rebuke with criticism or complaint, which are usually about what I would like to see or what I am not happy with, rather than what we feel is genuinely good for the person concerned. Leaders receive far too much criticism and complaint, and it would be much better if we gave them encouragement instead.



Secondly, our rebuke may be harsh, even judgmental. We will be especially prone to this if we are speaking of an issue which we are also struggling with. But see how Daniel speaks to king Nebuchadnezzar: “My Lord, if only this dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!” (verse 19). He was deeply concerned for the welfare of his king. Also, he gives him a way out of his situation: “O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue" (verse 27). Rebuke always has the objective of restoration.



It is important to examine our hearts and ask why we are giving a word of rebuke or correction. Are we genuinely interested in seeing the person restored to a correct path, or are we taking the opportunity to put him or her down? Are we secretly interested in making him or her look small? Love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8); and nowhere is this more evident than in the word of rebuke.



Thirdly, the temptation is to say nothing and just let the situation continue. How easy that would have been for Daniel! The king could have ordered Daniel’s execution if he had been upset with his words, so there must have been a strong temptation for him to water down what God gave him, to conceal the most negative aspects. But he did not; he remained faithful to his God. How easy it is to duck out of saying that difficult thing, say, to our boss at work or to a church leader because we are worried about how it will affect our reputation or our future relationship with them. In this respect, the warning of Ezekiel 33 is rather sobering.



Finally, it is important to realise that we are not responsible for the way in which a person responds to our word of rebuke. Nebuchadnezzar heard what Daniel said but did not take it to heart. Nevertheless, after the seven years of isolation which Daniel had warned him about, Nebuchadnezzar finally repented and gave his life to praising, exalting and glorifying the King of heaven (verse 37). A friend of mine once felt God prompting him to challenge a fellow Christian leader at a large conference about involvement in pornography. The man totally rejected his word and told him he was way off target; yet two days later this man came back to him and admitted that this was an issue which he had been struggling with for a long time. Never be discouraged by an immediate negative response; we need a long term perspective. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted (Galatians 6:1-2).


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Rebuking: A lost Art? (Daniel 4)
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Trailer: “The Peace Between” Trailer: “The Peace Between”

A film about the experience of refugees in Europe. Churches, small groups and individuals are encouraged to use it during Refugee Week: 17-24 June.

 
How can churches better support singles? How can churches better support singles?

Tina Tschage, on some areas in which other Christians can encourage singles.

 
The Church of Scotland debates historic doctrines The Church of Scotland debates historic doctrines

The Kirk has begun official procedures to investigate the status and the role of the Westminster Confession of Faith within its denomination.

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.