When another Christian falls into obvious sin, an admonition is imperative, because God’s Word demands it. The practice of discipline in the community of faith begins with friends who are close to one another. Words of admonition and reproach must be risked when a lapse from God’s Word in doctrine or life endangers a community that lives together, and with it the whole community of faith. Nothing can be more cruel than that leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than that severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin. When we allow nothing but God’s Word to stand between us, judging and helping, it is a service of mercy, an ultimate offer of genuine community. Then it is not we who are judging; God alone judges, and God’s judgment is helpful and healing.
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Galatians 6:1
Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us. Psalm 85:4
Lord, open my ears that I may hear from your Word whatever words of admonition I need to hear that I might grow in love and faithfulness.