You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:17-18)
All of us know that to “love your neighbor as yourself” is considered to be one of the most important commandments given in Scripture. Messiah likened it to the command to “Love God with all of your heart.” Paul said that this command summed up the entirety of the the Law: “any commandment, are summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself … therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:9-10).
Now consider this command in conjunction with another — “You shall surely rebuke your neighbor and not bear sin because of him.” Even if a person has wronged you, he is still considered as your brother, yet, it is appropriate to reprove him if he is indeed wrong. It’s one thing to say it, but this can be very difficult to do especially with the goal of remaining brothers. No one enjoys receiving reproof and, therefore, it is very important that we w learn to do this with tact, delicacy and in love. In other words, there is a wrong way to do the right thing. Reproof shouldn’t be engineered to embarrass someone but to promote repentance that both parties can continue to grow in their mutual relationship.
So then, I would suggest that when we find ourselves in such a situation — that is we must reprove someone who has done a wrong against us — we should consider reproving ourself first. Look at it this way — you cannot reprove others if you think you do no wrong. By recognizing our own shortcomings we can better empathize with someone else and their faults. Remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye only after you have removed the beam from your own eye. If we discipline ourselves in this manner, it is less likely that we will feel the need to “take vengeance” and “bear any grudge.” Remember, the LORD has commanded that we are to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Blessings and Shalom,