I came across two articles (here and here) by Eric Simmons the other day, and thought they were very helpful in beginning to think about how do we love one another in how we correct one another. The question that came to my mind was, “Do we love each other with a Biblical love if we never are honest with fellow believers if they are sinning?” It is an extremely loving thing to point others away from their sin – sin that many times we think is unnoticed. But remember that there is a difference between the role of the believer and the role of God. Simmons describes it like this:
Think of the many times that you would have been saved from your own sinning if someone with adequate knowledge of your life showed this kind of love for you to keep you from going on in your sin. So, be vigilant. Show love by correction, but do it with gentleness. As Paul says in Galatians 6:1-2, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
It is so important to remind yourself of your role and God’s role before you share any corrective thought. You are not the Holy Spirit and you cannot bring conviction. That is the Holy Spirit’s role. Your role is to share something with a friend that they may not be aware of. Your role is not to convince the person of your perspective. Your role is to share your perspective, ask some questions and then follow up later after the person is able to think and pray about it. Don’t think that you have to spend hours in conversation trying to prove your perspective to the person. Just share and follow up later.