Jesus Gives Honest Counsel

"Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed." (Ephesians 4:29a TEV)

Correcting another person in a loving way is powerful. Done the right way, it builds people up. The difference between the right and the wrong way is your attitude.

If all you're doing is pointing out faults, then stop. The purpose has to be to correct, not to condemn. You need to ask, “What's my motive in this? Am I correcting him for my benefit or for his benefit?”

A lot of times we want to correct people just because they're being jerks and they're hassling us.  We think, “If they would stop being such a jerk, my life would be easier.”

That's the wrong motive. 

Instead, follow Ephesians 4:15, which says to speak the truth in love. The key to proper correction: Affirm the person, then correct the behavior. 

Talk About It

What bad habits have you formed when correcting people, like pointing out faults or being judgmental?

Think of someone you've recently corrected. How can you affirm that person?


Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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