Upon reading Luke as part of my daily readings, I stumbled upon this great quote from Jesus that I have never noticed before in Luke 17:3
“…Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.”
I suppose what strikes me as the biggest surprise is how Jesus Himself tells us flat out to rebuke our brother if he sins. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that we can only rebuke our brothers, but our family, friends, etc. Many times you hear from those who like the devastating effects of sin something like “Jesus said don’t judge, stop judging me!” or “Love others no matter what!” or something to that effect. But clearly, Jesus says otherwise.
Clearly, we have permission from God, to tell people when they are sinning, that they are indeed sinning. Of course, maybe we are looking at this out of context? After all, there is an ellipsis in front of it!
Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”
Well…yeah, its pretty clear, sin is bad, and tempting others into sin is even worse. Sin is a big deal, and its important to remember this. If you know someone who is committing sin and should know better, rebuke them! Tell them they are in the state of mortal sin and need to go to confession and stop their behavior. Its important that they are held accountable for their actions. However, at the same time do not go about judging in the sense of “YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!!!” This is not only annoying and immature, but also goes against Jesus’ sayings in Luke 6:37 ‘Judge, lest you be judged’.
If someone who you know is sinning and they don’t know better, well, teach them, politely and in a way that is not intruding on them but helps them. Imagine yourself in their position. Establish a good relationship with them, talk with them about it. EXPLAIN the reasons why its a sin to them. Most importantly, teach them.