April 13, 2013

Teach and Admonish in Wisdom

Colossians 3:12-17

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.
—Colossians 3:16


Have you ever had a dear friend correct you? Even a gentle rebuke can be hard to hear, even when it is given in a context of love. No one likes to have their faults pointed out and their rough edges scraped off. We don’t want to believe that our words or our actions could hurt someone else.

Yet it is a mark of Christ’s community that we teach and admonish. We should not be shy about sharing God’s love and advice with one another. We need to care enough to confront bad behavior and be willing to receive correction ourselves.

When we correct, we need to be certain that love drives us to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:15). A mentor once told us that confrontation in relationship is healing, but confrontation outside relationship is condemnation. Speaking the truth can be hateful, whether it’s behind-the-back gossip or in-your-face humiliation. Admonishment should happen in love, relationship, and prayer.

When we are corrected, we need a teachable spirit that marks a disciple of Christ. We should let the Word of God dwell richly in us. This is not an occasional casual visit with the Bible, but a call to have God’s Word at home within you.

Are you ready to be taught or corrected?

Lord, teach us how to correct one another in a loving way. Make us a community in which we love enough to hold one another accountable. Give us receptive hearts to hear correction that will draw us closer to Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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