The body of Christ – a safe, loving place?

By Dave Henning / December 23, 2019

“The body of Christ was designed to be a safe and loving place where we live in mutual submission to one another (see Ephesians 5:21).  That includes full transparency and a willingness to ‘go there’ with someone who needs to face the truth.  Accountability is essential.”- Charles Swindoll

[God] said, “My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.  For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”- Hebrews 12:5-6 (NLT)

In Chapter 4 (“What If . . . You Need to Confront Someone?”) of What If . . . God Has Other Plans?, Charles Swindoll applies God’s Word to times you need to call out sin.  Certainly, confrontation isn’t a pleasant experience.  Furthermore, Pastor Swindoll observes, no one who confronts for the right reason ever volunteers for it.

Therefore, Pastor Swindoll takes a look at appropriate confrontation via the biblical account of Nathan and David.  As with Nathan, we confront because we care about the other person’s welfare.  And, that involves saying the hard thing.  Hence, Pastor Swindoll notes, confronting someone is:

  • love in action
  • a gentle and humble experience – no outburst of anger

However, the author cautions, loving confrontation isn’t:

  • an attempt to control the person you confront, but to set in motion Christ-honoring change in the person’s attitude or direction
  • squeezing the offender into your mold, judging them or shaming them
  • undertaken eagerly, but with hesitance and reluctance
  • handled in public

So, Nathan chose to confront King David through a story.  Thus, Pastor Swindoll relates something his friend Warren Wiersbe once told him about this effective technique:

“A good story begins with a picture — something that turns what we’re hearing into something visible that seeps into our imagination.  Then the picture transforms into a mirror that reflects the truth about ourselves.  The mirror then becomes a window, which enables us to see the Lord at work in the image.”

Today’s question: What can you do to help make the body of Christ a safe, loving place?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The marvelous grace of God – deliver the message”

About the author

Dave Henning

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