“Thanks, I Needed That!”

This morning Peter and I pulled up behind the resale shop downtown to unload some items. As we carried in the boxes, a man who had been working in the alley informed me, “Your front tire is low.”

I thanked him, and a few minutes later we had the inflater connected and the pressure back to normal.

That stranger did me a real favor. Otherwise, I might have ruined the tire.

Another example

If I ask others to proofread my writing, should I hope they won’t find any errors, even if there are some?

If there’s a mistake, I want to know it.

Other more objective eyes could see what mine had overlooked.

But what if it starts getting personal?

Would I be just as grateful to someone for pointing out a serious shortcoming in my life that needs correcting?

Even when correction is gently given (Galatians 6:1-2), why do we humans so often get defensive and feel resentful when we could really benefit from constructive criticism?

It is no time to lash back with, “Judge not that ye be not judged.”

Is our pride showing?

What if the apostle Peter had taken offense when Jesus or Paul had to correct him?

Instead he grew.

David had the humility to admit, “I have sinned against the LORD” when the prophet Nathan rebuked him for his sins (2 Samuel 12:13).

Instead of resenting he repented.

On another occasion David wrote, “Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; it is oil upon the head; do not let my head refuse it . . .” (Psalm 145:5).

This old head needs a dose of oil occasionally.

How about yours?

young man thinking-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Mirror for the Soul

Totally oblivious

I’ve had chalk dust, toothpaste, food, and worse on my face and didn’t realize it until someone told me or I saw it for myself in the mirror. I’ve had friends straighten my coat collar when it was folded the wrong way, or inform me I had missed a loop when putting on my belt.

When something like this happens, we may feel a bit embarrassed, but aren’t we also grateful that we are now aware of a problem we needed to correct? Until someone cared enough to tell us, we were blissfully unaware of how we looked.

What if a CAT scan reveals a tumor of which we were totally unaware? Until we know, how can we do anything about it?

Open to correction?

But what about our spiritual condition? If we are living outside the will of God but don’t realize it, would we want to know?

A related question: Do we take kindly to correction? To many in our super-sensitive culture today, being corrected is greatly resented, even when done gently and in love.

Not until Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus did Saul of Tarsus realize he was actually opposing God in his relentless hounding of the church (John 16:2; Acts 26:9-11). To his credit he made the needed changes, promptly and completely. What a blessing to the world he then became!

The Laodicean church thought they were doing quite well, thank you, until Jesus put a mirror to their face and forced them to see themselves as they really were—as Christ saw them (Revelation 3:14-22). It wasn’t a pretty picture. We do not know how they responded to His loving rebuke.

Facing the truth about ourselves

No wonder God gave us resources to help us see ourselves accurately. His word serves as a mirror for our souls (James 1:22-25). God also gave us each other to help us see things about ourselves we need to face (2 Samuel 12:1-15; Galatians 6:1).

“Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; it is oil upon the head; do not let my head refuse it . . .” (Psalm 141:5). To see ourselves as we are can be painfully humiliating, but oh, how we need it!

Better to know now than to find out at the Judgment—when it will be too late, too late!

mirror image-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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