What Does The Bible Say About Disciplining

I can be an egomaniacal control freak, and because of that, I hesitate on discipline at work. Except to allow people to be sloppy actually hurts them and others. So out of love, you have to set them on the right path, or else it shows you don’t care about them.

Proverbs 3:12 and Revelation 3:19 says that ‘the Lord disciplines those he loves as a father the son he delights in.’ Why does He do it? Because he cares about our growth, and so too should I care about the growth of those under me. Enough so to do the hard things like reprimanding and disciplining.

Rebuking, It Just Jumps Off The Tongue

How do I rebuke–give a stern disapproval or reprimand? Leviticus 19:17 teaches not to do it from a place of hate, but being straightforward with it so we don’t share in the guilt. After I’ve done that, my hands are clean. If I see it and don’t mention it, then I’m also complicit in it.

Here’s how to mention it from Matthew 18:15; go and point it out, just the two of you. If they listen, you’ve won them over, and they’re more the wiser. Luke 17:13 adds if they repent, forgive them if it was a sin against you. I assume this means by telling them since we’re to forgive everyone as we’ve been forgiven.

After they’ve turned away from the behavior, Galatians 6:1 says to restore them gently. If they’re older than me, don’t reprimand them harshly, but like I would my dad (1 Timothy 5:1). Which to me means respectfully. Treat the younger ones like my brothers, and that’s always involved a lot of head-shaking and wondering why they do certain things.

Responses To Discipline

There are a variety of responses to rebuke. Proverbs 9:7-9 lists them. When I correct a mocking person, I will invite insult. A wicked man may even try to hurt me. Proverbs warn not to rebuke a mocker, or they’ll hate you. As a general rule of thumb, that’s great advice.

For someone in leadership, we don’t have that luxury.

The plus is when you rebuke a wise man, they’ll love you for it because his wisdom will grow. Psalm 141:5 says they’ll accept it from a righteous man. Continuing in Proverbs, when I reprimand a righteous man, I’ll add to their learning.

Something to think about.

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