“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” II Timothy 4:2
Do you have someone in your life you need to reprove, rebuke, exhort? I sure did! I was doing the “great patience” part very well. I was waiting and praying for the Lord to do something. Or was I waiting, praying, and not taking action out of my own fear that if I said something I would make the problem worse. Paul writes in II Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” One night, while in bed, after studying this passage, my mind was plagued with thoughts of a personal situation. I suddenly thought, “Lord, the problem isn’t going to go away until I do something, is it?” I felt He was prompting me that the time was right to go and “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” Reprove, rebuke, and exhort are similar words in meaning–to admonish or give insight by words. The key is it must be done with great patience and instruction. I knew great patience and instruction meant there could be no bitterness in my heart. I realized God was not only giving me an opportunity to make the relationship right (in giving insight by words), but He was also giving me an opportunity to grow, to trust, and to be a witness for Him. It was at that moment that I was excited to see what the Lord would do. My focus was no longer on my many fears, but on His victory.
Is there someone in your life you need to “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” so a broken relationship can be healed or you can be a testament of your faith in Christ to another? Have you been avoiding a situation because of your own fears? Have you been waiting for the Lord to do something? The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians chapter 4, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience (there is that word again!) showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
A grateful servant of Christ,
Lynda Murphy – LIFT Director
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