Rebuke Without Rebuking
Correction and rebuke can be quite a difficult task for leaders. It’s often like walking on eggshells. We don’t like to do it, but it is one of those unavoidable things we must do. But unfortunately, many leaders completely avoid this part of their leadership for fear of conflict and opposition.
But how can we handle it without hurting feelings and without broken relationships? This is a difficult task, but that’s why we are here as leaders. This difficult and important task has been assigned to us.
When Paul gave some leadership advice to Timothy, these were his words: “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, all in purity” (1 Tim 5:1-2 ESV).
Two aspects are evident here; encouragement and relationships. Paul wanted Timothy to prefer encouragement over rebuke, and relationships over hierarchy.
When we lead or bring correction based on our emotional response, we tend to “rebuke” the persons involved. But if we can deal with the individuals based on relationships, we can use encouraging words.
If we see our task from a hierarchical perspective, we may end up with increased conflict. But if we deal within a relational context, the results are amazing.
Paul was giving some important advice to Timothy, a young leader in the church. He instructed Timothy to treat older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters. Paul intended a relational approach to discipline and leadership.
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