I cannot tell you the times I thought I was right in a situation but was actually…point….blank…WRONG! It’s so easy to think that because it’s from my perspective that I am right. I mean, why shouldn’t everyone listen to me and my feelings? Right? That is not the case. It’s often because we only see from our perspective that we are wrong and we do not see the big picture. You can’t see when you’re inside the frame.
The beloved King David, was known for his heart after God, his fierce warrior spirit, and his love for worship. Yet, he was also the one who committed adultery, manipulation, and murder. David’s act of lust led him to one sin after another. He ultimately confessed his sins, which is found in the beautiful prayer of Psalm 51, but it took a prophet named Nathan to come and rebuke and correct David in his wrong. Why didn’t David confess to the Lord by himself without someone telling him he was wrong? Because unconfessed sin or wrong causes you to turn a deaf ear to the Lord.
It’s interesting to note who was around David during this domino effect of sin. “Yes” men. People who did whatever David told them to do.
“Go find out about Bathsheba.”….they did….David commits adultery.
“Put Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, in the front line, so he can die”…..they do…..David commits murder.
NO ONE was around David to tell him STOP! You’re making a huge mistake! Don’t do this! David had no accountability. It wasn’t until God sent Nathan, that David’s eyes were open and the weight of his sin fell upon him (2 Samuel 12). We have to constantly be checking to see who is in our circle. If no one around is able to check us, two things need to take place. Either we change our circle or we change our circle…We need more Nathans in our lives. So who is your accountability? Who can tell you to your face that you’re wrong and mean it in love and you receive it?
Today’s Habits of Grace Study talks about embracing the blessing of rebuke. It is a great act of love! There are at least two participants in a rebuke that serves our souls as a means of grace; the giver and the receiver. In this study, we will focus on receiving a rebuke from a friend, brother, sister, etc. The book of Proverbs is full of references about how those who embrace a correction are wise, but those who don’t are fools! One of my favorite though comes from Proverbs 27:6
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
I’m so thankful for people in my life that will tell it like it is to me. No smoke. No fluff. No games. Black and White. We all need people to tell the truth to us, even when it hurts. The pain of staying the same has to be greater than the pain of change. David Mathis gives us four ways to embrace the blessing of rebuke. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!
- Open the Gift – When a spouse or friend or family member or associate rises to the level of such love to give correction, we should be profoundly thankful. It’s easier to let others go on their way and not say anything. The wise recognize rebuke as a gift of gold. (Proverbs 25:12)
- Hear God’s Voice through them – even when the rebuke is poorly delivered, the timing is off, the tone is bad, and the motivation seems suspect, we should want the truth spoken to us as Believers and thank God for them for saying something hard. We should invite correction in, not wait for it to come to us.
- Easier Said Than Done – It’s not in our flesh to want to hear correction. Something in us wants to recoil and pounce back with something else out of defense or rebellion. It doesn’t help that our culture and society is not open to correction. We put on a facade that we are perfect and everything is rosy in our lives. But the reality is that we are selfish, flawed, arrogant, and regularly sin with our thoughts and actions. We need to learn to make rebukes a tremendous grace in our lives and welcome it in.
- Unlock the Power – The love of Christ for us is our key to unlock the power of rebuke. Christ gave himself for us (Gal. 2:20), so we know that we have a deep sense of worth where rebuke becomes a fresh opportunity for growth and greater joy. We can develop thick skin through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s only in Jesus where we can remain confident in our identity and lean into rebuke and receive its bounty.