A while back I penned a post on the parable found in Luke 17, regarding the responsibility to forgive a brother when he sins against you. Oh, and one other responsibility, that is to rebuke the brother as required.
That brought to mind my first “rebuking” Not the first delivered to me – No there has been to many to remember. But the first one I provided to a brother.
So much pride and judgement on my part. And such a gentle attitude toward me from the “sinning” brother.
Let set the stage.
My wifey and I had just received our first child from the Lord and he was well nigh perfect. Sleeping perfectly, eating perfectly, smiling at daddy perfectly. (Come to think of it, each of my chillun were perfect – go figger!)
With me being so young in the faith, and seemingly being so successful at raising my 10 month old son (ahem), I obviously had much to teach others.
Meet Ron – (not his real name don’t ya know). He was an elder in the church, and had three young children, not quite as perfect as mine, but if they stood still, they were somewhat cute. Let’s not get into competition now Carl!
Still, Ron and his wifey had a bit different attitude in raising their children, a bit of a permissive attitude that allowed the children to express themselves freely. Allowed to leave the table during supper, allowed to scream over most anything, allowed to “run a bit ragged” round the house.
Looking back, I may have been sitting on a self erected pedestal when I viewed these little ones.
I remember the day well, when I drove to Ron’s house, after asking if we could meet. He most likely thought I had a personal question of guidance that I wanted to review with him. Little did he know that I was bringing the hammer down, showing him the error of his ways, and allowing him to experience the depth of my wisdom.
Prior to going to the door, I prayed. Of course – I considered myself spiritual.
In talking to him, I felt at a loss to convince him of my argument. He was so gracious to me, and received me in kindness. We chatted and he asked me to stay for a drink, maintaining an attitude of acceptance with me.
Ron is a good man, and for some reason I didn’t see the bigger picture. I guess I only saw what I wanted to see about my own abilities as a parent. Don’t worry – soon enough that pride would come crashing down!
In my rebuking responsibilities, I try to remind myself to be careful to consider my own weakness in the very area I will be addressing in my brothers sin. I need to approach him with a spirit of gentleness, as one beggar going to another beggar.
This rebuking thing is a most delicate thing to balance. I definitely need the wisdom of Jesus. The wisdom and humility of the Lord.
Thanks Ron, for being the believer I needed to see that day!