The Call To Confront: How To Call Out Sin Without Being Judgmental


Confronting sin and restoring a brother or sister back to Christ is something of a fine art but we may have lost it. In a culture that tells us that it's wrong to judge in any way, we could be tempted to refrain from rebuke and correction that would actually build up the body of Christ.

The call to confront a brother or sister in Christ is one we mustn't ignore, but it is also one that we cannot simply jump into. To confront sin with the wrong attitude or heart posture is just as bad or even worse than not confronting at all. When we confront in the wrong way and with the wrong heart, then we are at risk of turning into judgmental and even legalistic Pharisees who destroy instead of build others up.

Here are some biblical reminders God's Word gives us when confronting sin that will help us avoid the trap of becoming judgmental and legalistic.

Confront with gentleness

We must always be reminded that correction is not something that we can do on our own. We edify others best when we partner with the Holy Spirit, and when we do that we are brought into a state of gentleness and not harshness. Gentle doesn't always mean soft. We can be gentle and firm yet loving and kind in the way we confront.

Galatians 6:1 tells us, "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted."

Remove the stigma that you're any better

Romans 12:3 reminds us, "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." Too often, people behave in a confrontation as if they have the high moral ground.

The gospel remains as a reminder to all of us that we are all wretches at the same level and have all fallen short of God's ways and God's glory (Romans 3:23). When we correct, it's not because we are any better, but because we want others to become better than who they are today.

Start in privacy

We could fall into the trap of getting too many people involved before confronting someone. This puts us and the people we want to confront into a dangerous spot, risking unnecessary hurt or gossip. Matthew 18:15-16 tells us, "If your brother or sister sins,go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."