I. LISTEN FIRST
A. James 1:19
Despite our reflexive inclinations, we must be quicker to hear than to speak.
B. John 7:51
“Innocent until proven guilty” is a worthy maxim.
C. Proverbs 18:13
We prove ourselves foolish who speak while ignorant of the facts.
II. ONLY AFTER SELF-EXAMINATION
A. Luke 6:41-42
It actually is quite important to remove specks from eyes, but one is unqualified to do so whose own eyes are filled with planks.
B. Galatians 6:1
While intending to restore the wayward one might fall under the same temptation, so caution is needed.
C. 1st Corinthians 10:12
Self-examination is simply needed in general; how much more so while correcting another?
III. PUT YOURSELF IN THE OTHER GUY’S SHOES
A. Matthew 7:12
The Golden Rule, as it is often called, applies always, especially in matters of correction.
B. Galatians 5:14
If we love others as ourselves, we’ll respect their feelings.
IV. REMEMBER THAT ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
A. 1st Thessalonians 5:14
While truth absolutely applies to all, the approach can, and should, vary. The unruly are not the fainthearted or weak, and should not be treated equally.
B. Jude 22-23
Some need a compassionate and some a fearful treatment. There should be a “distinction”.
V. UNDERSTAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE MAY BE INCOMPLETE OR INACCURATE
A. Acts 18:24-26
Apollos had “accurate” knowledge, but needed to be taught “more accurately”. His knowledge was incomplete.
B. James 3:17
The wise are “willing to yield”.
C. Proverbs 10:17
We must be always willing to be corrected.
VI. NOT BECAUSE YOU LIKE TO HEAR YOURSELF TALK
A. Proverbs 18:2; 17:7
It is foolish just to talk for the sake of talking. Really, it’s embarrassing to hear people use big words who don’t understand them.
B. 1st Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul, who was once mistaken for the Greek god of communication – he was that gifted an orator, refused to speak eloquently in Corinth, where such things were highly esteemed. Rather, he brought attention to Christ.
VII. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEBATING & QUARRELING
A. Jude 3; Acts 9:22; 18:28
Disputing error is essential.
B. 1st Timothy 1:4; 6:3-4; 2nd Timothy 2:14, 23-26
Arguing over useless stuff is not.
VIII. KNOW WHEN TO QUIT
A. Matthew 7:6
Jesus told His apostles not to waste their time teaching people who don’t want to be taught.
B. Mark 6:11
It would be necessary sometimes to reject people.
IX. DO SO WITH LOVE
A. Ephesians 4:15
Truth is what must be spoken, and lovingly is how.
B. 1st Corinthians 16:14
Nothing at all should happen without love.
C. 1st Corinthians 13:4-6
Loving behavior is manifest.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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