The following 8 Principles and their related scriptures show the importance of this approach by the Apostle Paul in his own ministry.
1. Be Firm And Bold:
2 Corinthians 7:9 (NIV) says “Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.”
2 Corinthians 10:2 (NIV) says “I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.”
2. Affirm All That You See That Is Good:
2 Corinthians 7:4 (NIV) says “I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.”
3. Be Accurate And Honest:
2 Corinthians 7:14 (NIV) says “I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well.”
4. Know The Facts:
2 Corinthians 11:22-27 (NIV) says “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”
5. Follow Up After The Rebuke, Confrontation, Or Discipline:
2 Corinthians 7:13 (NIV) says “By all this we are encouraged. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.”
2 Corinthians 12:14 (NIV) says “Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.”
6. Be Gentle After Being Firm:
2 Corinthians 13:11-13 (NIV) says “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All God’s people here send their greetings.”
7. Speak Words That Reflect Christ's Message, Not Your Own Feelings Or Ideas:
2 Corinthians 10:3 (NIV) says “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.”
2 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV) says “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.”
2 Corinthians 12:19 (NIV) says “Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening.”
8. Use Discipline Only When All Else Fails:
2 Corinthians 13:2 (NIV) says “I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others.”
Sometimes rebuke, confrontation, and discipline is necessary, but use them with caution. As a Christian, your purpose for any rebuke, confrontation, or discipline should be to help the person(s), not hurt them!
And, you may need to humble yourself and receive rebuke, confrontation, and discipline from your brothers and sisters in the Lord who may see shortcomings in your life that you don't clearly see.
The Point Of All This
That we may all be refined and conformed to the image of God's Son, Jesus Christ and improve our relationships with fellow Christians and others we know.
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