Reprove, Rebuke, and Exhort

2 Timothy 4:1-2  I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Many people think that Matthew 7:1 forbids judging, and they use it as an excuse to just sit by and endorse sin by keeping our mouths shut, but if you have read the definitions of the highlighted words above you know that the Bible tells us that there are situations that we can correct,  express disapproval, criticize sharply, and warn people away from sin. All of those things are kinds of judging. So Matthew 7:1  can’t mean what people think it means. If you read down to Matthew 7:5 you will discover that it is referring to hypocritical judgement.

This isn’t an excuse to be mean and nasty, if you reread 2 Timothy 4:1-2 you will see that it ends with the phrase “with complete patience and teaching”. While there are forms of judging we can and should do, we should not do it with the purpose of making the person feel below you, we are to teach them with patience. Sometimes we may have to speak sharply like when some drunk person wants to drive a car filled with kids, but that kind of judging should be limited to situations that demand action that minute. If you are judging because you care, and not out of hate, it is a legitimate thing to do. Just remember that God is love, and wants you to behave with love too.

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