2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
The apostle Paul knew that there would be times when Timothy, as a minister of the gospel, would have to rebuke or correct others. However, Timothy was not to rebuke others on a whim. In fact, Paul specifically laid out two premises which Timothy’s rebuke should follow: “with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Timothy was to rebuke others while suffering with them for a long time, thus longsuffering. He was to exhibit grace by offering others the opportunity to rectify their areas of failure. At the same time, he was to rebuke others with sound doctrine and not simply based upon mere opinion. This was going to be even more necessary as some would begin to depart from sound doctrine and practice (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
∙ (For children): You are playing with a friend (or maybe a sibling) when his mother calls him. He just keeps playing. You need to remind him of Colossians 3:20. It may happen another time. Remind him again. Keep doing this until he learns to obey quickly.
∙ (For everyone): Why is it important that we rebuke others “with all longsuffering”? How will it hinder the working of God in the lives of others when we fail to rebuke with longsuffering?
∙ Do you rebuke others based upon your opinion or based upon the eternal words of God? What happens when we rebuke without the authority of God’s word?
∙ Ask God to help you to be gracious when you must rebuke others.
∙ Ask God to give you a scriptural foundation for your rebukes.