Kind words of correction are a greater blessing than empty words of flattery. ~Proverbs 28:23 (Randy Reed Paraphrased Version)
Randy came through again for me! He has an amazing way with Spirit-led words. As I journey on the road of intentionally and consciously following Jesus (aka Discipleship), I wrote yesterday about the need to allow and even bless the opportunities for spiritual growth that come in the tough times of life. Sometimes those “tough times” might just come from my friends or family.
While I may prefer being on the spectrum of kind to politically correct in my choice of words or of those directed at me, I also believe that the nicest thing I can do some times is to warn a brother or sister of a spiritual danger or pitfall in their life. Done with an extreme dose of love, mercy, non-judgment and compassion, it is still worth the risk of caring rather than ignoring. But what is even harder is my attitude when the tables are turned and the “advice” and concern is coming TO me rather than FROM me. How do I handle the caring confrontation of someone else? The most natural response is too often defensiveness- when I’m doing it it’s explainable, when you do it it’s unacceptable! We’re funny animals that way! But what I have found is a better response when the message of concern is directed toward me is to first ask myself if it’s true. I have enough confidence in humanity to believe that one person I can and should be honest with is myself. I don’t think there are very many consciences that are so seared that they don’t, in their hearts, know if what they are doing is right or wrong. I might try and ignore my inner warnings and I usually will hide them quite successfully on the outside for what people see of me, but when confronted, I think I know if they are right in their confrontation!
So, I first ask if it’s true, and if it is I pray that I will be strong enough to admit it and deal with it. If my inner struggles have expanded enough to be visible to others then I have a problem on my hands that I need to deal with. It can be a very helpful wakeup call if I allow it. There are also times when the “concern” is totally not true and inaccurate; I think I will know that too. When that’s the case then I can’t allow false guilt to manipulate me into changing what isn’t my problem. I just politely thank them for their concern and pray that God will give me a good attitude toward my accuser and that He will give my accuser a better understanding of me!
Kindness sometimes involves confrontation, because I love and care for someone, or they love and care for me. I need to listen and see if it’s God putting one of those “trials” in my life that if I listen to might just bring me greater joy in the end. I pray that I can have that kind of a spirit toward those who care about me.
Have a great day growing even through confrontation,
Quote for the day: “The noblest question in the world is, what good may I do in it?” -Ben Franklin
PS Family Worship (aka Vespers) is starting at 7:30 in the church and will feature current and past SM/TF as we also encourage our future volunteers.
PPS Missions Afterglo- TBA
PPPS Remember “Guess who’s coming for lunch?” tomorrow after second service the CVC family will be inviting you to their homes for lunch. Get some friends together and enjoy a free home cooked meal from our church family.