Hurricane Irma blew down an eighty-foot pine in our front yard.
Were it not for another large pine blocking its path, we’d have lost part of our roof.
I couldn’t help thinking of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”
In the end, the fallen tree had to be cut up and removed, but godly friends in our lives not only block us from paths of destruction, they lift us up when we fall and restore us to an upright position in Christ.
Unfortunately, we’re often afraid to “push against” a falling brother for fear of being rejected or called judgmental. And we’re often resistant to those who try to keep us from falling.
What can we do? Pray for good, honest friends and pray to be a good, honest friend (Galatians 6:1). Pray that we will be unafraid to give and receive Biblical correction (Proverbs 19:20).
You might enjoy the other devotion I wrote about this tree: 6 Ways to Keep Rooted
1. One purpose of godly teachers is to correct and rebuke.
These are Paul's instructions to Timothy and Titus:
2 Timothy 4:2: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
Titus 2:15: These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
2. The Word of God is meant to help us live godly lives and one thing it does is rebuke us when we’re wrong.
2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
3. Christian brothers and sisters have a responsibility to gently correct those who are falling away.
Galatians 6:1: Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
2 Timothy 2:25: Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth.
See also Jude 1:23
4. Wise men and women receive correction and listen to advice.
Proverbs 19:20: Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Proverbs 15:32: Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
See also Proverbs 8:33 and Proverbs 12:15
copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com.