I am a licensed shooter, but I am not James Bond so I stick to rabbits. If my eye is in, the odd fox. I’m not always the best shooter, but I know a key element that everyone who has ever wanted to actually hit something knows. You need to aim straight. Simple I know, but critical. It’s the same for rebuking. We need to be accurate with our rebukes. They must be biblically loaded with love and grace, and given to the person in need of it (Luke 17:3-4). Too often in my circles I hear Christians speaking about someone they see in need of rebuke and they have two things wrong:
1. They don’t actually talk to the person in need of rebuke, actually to everyone but that person. This the Bible calls gossip, and you should stop because it’s bad for you.
2. They don’t aim accurately. Rebuke is meant to be aimed with love rather than to see who can be the last person standing after the smoke clears.
We must make sure the gospel shapes how we show love and rebuke to our fellow sinners. We cannot afford to shoot from the hip (or shoot off our mouth) to anyone but the person we care for in our rebuke. Anything else is like drive-by rebuking and in the end we hit no issue, just everyone else in the house.