The difference between accusing and rebuking is…

Intended outcome. The difference between accusing and rebuking is the desired outcome.
A rebuke is a form of love. It’s really an appeal. It’s an appeal to stop, repent and renew ones commitment. Sometimes it’s an appeal to have a soft heart and admit wrong-doing in the first place. But in all those scenarios, a rebuke is aimed at a certain outcome, by the grace of God.
As such, a rebuke doesn’t carry a condemnation in itself. It may outline a future consequence (“if this doesn’t stop we will need to take these steps”). Rather, it is an appeal to see and change one’s sin with an offer of forgiveness.
On the other hand, an accusation is what satan does. An accusation is not an appeal to someone to change, but a verdict that change is not enough, and forgiveness is out of reach. It doesn’t look to a renewed commitment, but looks to incite guilt and self-loathing. An accusation is a declaration of condemnation.
However, because the difference is a “desired outcome”, that means someone who is unwilling to repent as desired will only hear a loving rebuke as an accusation. They can’t get past the first part of the rebuke… The idea they did something that needs to change.

4 thoughts on “The difference between accusing and rebuking is…

  1. Hi Dave, thanks for your post, something I’ve been wondering about lately. In crime/detective type shows on TV I’ve noticed how when the detective questions someone they make massive assumptions regarding motive and what took place, and then watch the suspect squirm as they try and justify their position. The suspect could either be innocent or guilty. I am wondering if making assumptions are linked strongly with accusing. It seems to me that to rebuke someone by making assumptions regardless of the desired outcome becomes an accusation rather than a rebuke. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. Thanks Ben

    • Yeah, for sure. Your assumptions can be positive or negative. If you assume someone done something bad (or with bad motives) you have already accused them in your own mind.

  2. L says:

    Hi Dave
    You suggest that one of the preconditions before a rebuke is that the one being rebuked has sinned?
    Also, what do you think someone should do when they have wrongly rebuked (or wrongly tried to rebuke) someone?

Comments are closed.