For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:6-11
Many people think when you love someone, you overlook and ignore their mistakes. However, scripture makes it clear that God chastens those whom he loves. When someone God loves makes a mistake, he chastens them. Many people also mistakenly believe that chastening simply means a punishment – a spanking. Chastening can involve a punishment, but it is more than that.
Chastening involves correction and discipline – instruction that involves pointing out the mistake made as well as how to avoid making the same mistake again. Discipline is not a spanking. Discipline involves discipling. Let me use the illustration of a basketball player. Basketball practices can be grueling events – events that at the moment do not appear to be joyous, but grievous. But afterward, all that practice – all that discipline – pays off during the game as the basketball player properly executes when dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding, defending, etc. The player was disciplined to perform properly. The player didn’t receive a spanking – he received instruction and correction.
When you love someone and see that person make a mistake, it is not loving to ignore it. It is an act of love to point out the mistake and help the person change so he or she does not make the same mistake again.
The same goes for loving a church. Oftentimes, if a person draws attention to something wrong in the church, that person is labeled as a complainer or a drama queen. He is told he doesn’t love the church like he should. People would just rather have the problem swept under the rug and ignored. Those that would rather ignore the problem and pretend it doesn’t exist are really the ones who don’t love the church as they should. The one who draws attention to the problem in hopes of having the problem corrected is the one demonstrating love.
Look at what Christ said to the churches in the first few chapters of Revelation. He drew attention to the problems and gave them instruction to correct those problems. He didn’t ignore them. He didn’t just hope the problem would go away. He didn’t sweep them under a rug. He shined a light on the problem.
We need people to love the church. We need to shine lights on the problems and try to correct them. It is what Jesus instructed us to do.