How do you react when you see a brother sinning?

Are you indignant, or sorrowful? Is your first instinct to give that brother a piece of your mind and a finger in his face?

Or do you see him and feel the need to offer a hug and a word of encouragement to point him back in the right direction?


Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

James 1:19-20

Too many of my brethren (me included) need to consider James’ words carefully here.

These words are given as a warning against Christians who feel justified in attacking their erring brothers for doing wrong. Exercising wrath against an erring brother is God’s business not our own. Just like carpenters need to measure twice and cut once, brethren need to hear the Word twice, and speak it once (swift to hear, slow to speak). In other words, we need to carefully apply it to ourselves first, and then offer it to others in a calm and loving manner.

Remember that the Word was given to us from the heart of a loving God, though we were engrossed in sinfulness when He did. That should be our template to follow. There is a time and place for rebuking, but it is a last resort.

How many of us have witnessed it being a first resort?