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As some of you have guessed by now, words and their meaning fascinate me. Take the word scold. Did you know that it does not once appear in the King James Version of the Bible? Now, if you were to look for related words in an extensive thesaurus, you would find such words as, reproach, rebuke, reprove, admonish, and denounce, among others. These five related words do appear in the KJV, but did you know that of all of these the only one employed by Jesus, was the word rebuke? The Gospels tell of Christ rebuking the wind, Satan, demons, even some sicknesses, but did you know that only on two occasions did Jesus rebuke his disciples? With Peter, it was in Mark 8:38 because his words were inspired by Satan, and with James and John in Luke 9:55, because they wanted to send down fire from Heaven to destroy those who rejected Jesus? You may wonder, "so, what is the point?" The point is that if Jesus seldom scolded anyone, why is it that we see so much of it in the church? Scolding was not part of Jesus' character. Isaiah depicted Him as a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, (53:3) and added he would not even break a bruised reed. (42:3) Errors and disagreements are inevitable. They will appear in church because it's makeup includes imperfect individuals. Nevertheless, I pray that we will remember that it is easier to lead the erring back to Christ with love, compassion and respect, and not with harsh words. Remember this too: A good pastor will always defend his flock. Next time you feel the urge to scold one of the church's erring sheep, make sure the shepherd is not around.

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