Encourage and Rebuke
“Tell them these things. Encourage and rebuke with full authority. Let no one disregard or despise you [conduct yourself and your teaching so as to command respect] ” (Titus 2.15 AMP).
Paul gives Titus a long list of leadership qualities that he can implement in order to shepherd his people. Paul finishes citing his assortment of leadership traits by telling Titus that he should both “encourage and rebuke with full authority.” Many people are good at rebuking others when they see something wrong, but they may have difficulty encouraging them. Others can encourage all day long, but they avoid confronting problems. Paul says that we must do both with full authority. Whether we struggle with rebuking or encouraging those around us, we need to step outside of our personal comfort zones and do what God has called us to do. If we are leaders, God has given us the authority to serve the people around us, and we are obligated to encourage what’s right and to rebuke what’s wrong. It has nothing to do with us, and has everything to do with God’s calling on our lives. We have to remember we all need to be rebuked and encouraged once in awhile, so we may become wise and strong in the Lord. When we follow the Holy Spirit’s lead with rebuking and encouraging, we never have to worry about overstepping our bounds. We can trust that God knows what He is doing, and He will use people to accomplish His greater will.
“Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers” (Psalm 141.5 NIV).