Discipline sounds like a necessary evil, doesn’t it? It’s not fun to point out to anyone something wrong. What if the person doesn’t take the criticism well? What if my relationship with that person changes for the worse? It is true that there are risks involved. Let’s explore them.
If a person walks out of a bathroom with toilet paper stuck to their heel, what is the worst that could happen? Maybe a little embarrassment? There won’t be any permanent damage, but I bet all of us would see that the polite thing to do in that situation would be to take the person aside and gently tell them what is wrong with their appearance.
Let’s up the ante a little. Let’s say someone is walking towards a a busy street as they happily play Pokemon Go. It’s that new game where people use the GPS that’s in almost every electronic phone and tablet these days to track down imaginary creatures. If the person is blindly walking toward their doom, I know know that I couldn’t just stand by and watch it happen. I would have to say or do something! I might even tackle the person! If that person became angry with me because I ruined their gaming task, I wouldn’t care because saving their life was more important.
The same could be said of church discipline. Friendships may be ruined. Feelings might be hurt. But we aren’t playing a game. The Old Evil Foe battles for our soul. He wants to lead us away from our loving God. God calls on us to gently reach out in love and restore them. Is church discipline necessary? Yes, indeed. Is it an evil? Hardly. Church discipline, pointing out another’s sin, with grace and humility, is the highest act of love one Christian can show to another.
This is the eighth Bible Class on our summer series – VIC: Very Important Chapters of the Bible.
Please click HERE for the Bible Class slides.