Pastor Mike Schumann
I hear all the time that we are to “speak life” to one another. People like this idea of speaking life to others, and few people seem to have a problem with it, and that’s likely because the idea of “speaking life” is thought to be equivalent to speaking encouraging things to one another. And that’s a good thing, we ought to encourage one another…in areas where encouragement is fitting.
But what about in situations where encouragement is not fitting? For example, if you see a brother, a sister, walking in consistent sin, are you to encourage them? If not, then what are you to do? What we often end up doing is simply remain silent — a sister tells you about some things she’s doing in a relationship, a brother tells you about something he’s doing online — and you just keep your mouth closed — thinking this silence communicates disapproval.
Church, silence does communicate, but what it communicates is either you don’t see what that person’s doing as sin, or, you see it as sin...but sin is a small thing with little repercussions, or, you see what that person’s doing as sin, recognize it will lead to that person’s downfall, but you do not love that person enough to tell them so.
Go ahead, call it a shy thing, call it a Minnesota thing. The Bible calls it a covering up of love thing, for, Proverbs 27, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. (and) Faithful are the wounds of a friend, many are the kisses of an enemy.”
Do you love enough to speak true life to your brother, your sister?
Admonishment is not a proclamation — you are guilty! — but a warning, based on Scripture, bathed in prayer, which says, “I love you, I think you may be in sin, please, turn.
My exhortation to you is to do just that, to admonish, warn, exhort, one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of your brothers, your sisters may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13). That is how we speak true life into one another.