1 Timothy 5:1-2 “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
The Church is a household, a family. There should never come a time when one family member slaps up another family member with words. This is the meaning of the greek word under our word “rebuke.” It is the only time this greek word is used in the Bible and it means to chastise or slap someone up with words.
Rather than rebuking a family member, we are to come along side one another and encourage them with the words of Scripture. This looks like asking them questions to ensure we have the facts strait. It looks like giving instruction, consoling, praying with, or comforting another person with gracious words to rub the back of our friend but not slap them upside the head. And all of this is to be done by a person who has purity of life.
One of the things I think it means to be made in the image of God is that we can see contradictions. We have hypocrite detectors on the inside to alert us of the smoke another person blows when they say one thing with their lips and another with their life. This detector has a stronger battery in some folks then in others, and I think the amount of time we spend with the Lord increases our power supply. This detector will go off in your friend when you try to encourage them to not go up in the attic because of danger but you sneak up there multiple times each day. Your life is not pure and you friend knows it. We are to take the log out of our eye first before we can see clearly to take the speck out of our brother or sister’s eye. Once we uproot the log from our eye, we will better be able to help our friend see the danger that lurks in the attic.