Leadership is difficult, especially when it involves reproof, warning, and discipline, and it often does. We all prefer to be liked. We would rather be popular than unpopular, but this can get in the way of helping those we should be leading. It is a snare into which any leader can fall, from a father and mother to a policeman to a pastor. Recently I read about a grizzly bear attack in a national park in America. The two people who were killed worked at the park, and they had been instructed and warned about how to conduct themselves around bears, but the leaders (in this case, park rangers and concession managers) didn’t always enforce the rules. Of one of these it was said that he “was highly popular with his employees; his manner tended to be light and jocular.” And though he “laid down the law to” about bear safety, he didn’t follow through with enforcement. When informed that his female employees were ignoring his “law” and walking at night near the bears for romantic interludes, he “threw up his hands” and said “there was a limit to how much advice one could hand out without becoming a bore, and he felt he had reached the limit.” His motive was to be popular and not be a “bore.” In this particular case, the girls in question were not killed by bears, but two others were. We all want to be “liked,” but true love exercises godly reproof and discipline. The Bible says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24). The wise parent who loves his child will correct and chasten him even though it is difficult, because the parent cares more about the child and his relationship with God and character and future than he does about his own feelings and conveniences. This is one of the great motivations for a pastor to exercise discipline. Discipline is never easy, not for the giver nor for the recipient, but it is necessary in this fallen world, and when done right according to God’s Word, it is an act of great love. One wise man said, “He who reproves me gives me a gold coin.”


(Friday Church News Notes, January 23, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)




“To employ soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of everlasting importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where He calls us to stand up like men and assert, though it may be the aptest method of securing popular applause in a sophistical age, is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven. Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy than they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies. Love for Christ, and for the souls for whom He died, will be the exact measure of our zeal in exposing the dangers by which men’s souls are ensnared”

— George Sayles

Proverbs 27:5-6 Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Psalms 141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.