Among the least-enjoyable yet important responsibilities of those who love the Lord is the task of confronting another believer who is living in deliberate disobedience. Scripture includes reminders that urge us to care for, warn, and help our fellow believers maintain their walks with Christ. Why? Because we’re supposed to “set them straight”? No, of course not! We are instructed to do so because of our love for them.
A popular description used today for carrying out this difficult yet essential responsibility is “tough love.” Because we love our brothers and sisters, we care about them. Because we care about them, we must occasionally do what’s tough: confront them. Even though it’s difficult, even though the person being confronted may not respond as we hope, and even though we may be misunderstood, we must, nevertheless, do the right thing—in the right way—at the right time.
Failing to do so is a violation of the biblical command: “If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path” (Galatians 6:1). In the Bible, we see examples of this kind of “tough love,” perhaps most notably from the prophet Nathan to King David. Nathan’s is a model worth following today.
2 Samuel 12:1–14
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