We learned last time that we are supposed to be able to teach and patiently endure evil.
I feel like this reiterates that point. Usually the evil we come up against will be from our “opponents” and patiently and gentleness were used interchangeably depending on what translation you look at.
Breaking it down with Strong’s, Thayer’s and HELPS:
Correcting: to train, chasten, correct so they may reach their full potential
Those that oppose: one set in opposition
Gentleness: meekness (“gentle strength”) which expresses power with reserve and gentleness
I think the KJV puts it best:
“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves…”
If someone isn’t walking with the Lord, they are most detrimental to themselves. It’s not really YOU they are opposing, but their own souls.
The NLT explains it a little better:
“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth.”
If someone opposes a biblical Truth that is being shared, it is much different than disagreeing with a preference. In our world today, people are very big on “Thou shalt not judge” and “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. While that principle is in the Bible, it seems to be one of the most misused. There is a difference between judging (which usually happens when people disagree or go against what your preferences are) and correcting or instructing (which should always be grounded in the sharing of a biblical Truth).
There’s a really good article on “Answers in Genesis” dealing with this.
I know it is something a lot of people, especially Christians, struggle with. We are called to uphold a righteous Truth and how can we that if we just sit idly by and allow a wicked and corrupt culture to twist and mar the Word of God?
If we are speaking this Truth in love and gentleness, we are fulfilling the call of God. If we are doing it in a hateful or prideful way with the intent to harm, we are in sin. Likewise, if we are shrinking away from proclaiming the Truth, we are in sin.
I’ve already shared about how gentleness is my hurdle.
What are you most guilty of? What are you going to change, starting today, to be a more effective ambassador of Truth? Comment below or on the facebook page.