“I was reminded of something this morning,” Stan began, “as I read about an event that happened in the early church.”
“What was going on with the early church?” I replied.
“There was a fellow by the name of Apollos in the City of Ephesus who was a man of God. He was speaking about Jesus, but he didn’t have the whole story about Jesus’ death and resurrection.”
“So what happened with him?”
Responding, Stan said, “There were some other believers who knew the whole story of Jesus. They took Apollos aside and explained it to him. The important point for me is that they took him aside, rather than addressing the matter in public. And that is what caused me to remember something I once witnessed.”
“What was that?” I asked.
“Early in my Christian life,” Stan said, “I was in a Bible study class. I was really new to the faith and didn’t know much about the Bible. There was another fellow in the class who was in the same boat. He didn’t know much, but he was very enthusiastic.”
Continuing, Stan said, “One night in class this other fellow said something that was not fully accurate about what we were studying. Unfortunately, the class leader really took the fellow to task about it. The leader embarrassed him in front of the rest of the class. That was the last time I ever saw him. He said nothing else the rest of that night and he didn’t return to the Bible study class after that.”
“Wow,” I responded, “he must have really been hurt and shut down.”
“You’ve got that right, my friend,” Stan responded. “And it was a valuable lesson for me in dealing with another believer, whether individually, but especially in a group. I am to never embarrass someone for not knowing or understanding the whole truth. If correction or explanation is needed, I am to do it in a way that only brings glory to God.”
“I am to never do anything that closes another person as he or she is seeking to know God.”
And he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Acts of the Apostles 18:26.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you open me to understand more about you as I seek to know you. Thank you that helping others mature in their faith is an essential part of your church. I ask you to lead me in your way so that I only help and never hurt another believer as he or she is seeking to know you in a deeper way. Please lead me in exact accord with your will, and help me to follow, so that what I say and do builds up and never tears down what you are doing in that person. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.