Let a righteous man strike me–it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me–it is oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it. – Psalm 141:5a (ESV)
We don’t like it when someone points out our mistakes. It hurts, we get defensive, we make excuses, we deny the reality of what we have done. Sometimes an accusation is unmerited and untrue, but when we find ourselves connected to others in the community of faith, we’ve got to understand how graceful it is to be called out.
Our deepest and most loving relationships must be strong enough to be honest with one another. When we’ve been hurt by someone else or when we see them acting in ways that are harmful to themselves or those around them, we have to love them enough to confront them. Of course we must do this with grace. We must do this because we love them. We are not looking to harm them. In fact, to simply ignore what they are doing or have done is unloving. It would be like watching my child play in the street during 5 o’clock rush hour, and refusing to go get them. I know their going to get hit, but because the conversation may be uncomfortable, I’ll just let them continue. To avoid conflict and difficult conversations is not loving our brothers and sisters well.
Not only must we be willing to confront those we love, but we must also be willing to receive the rebuke. We all have blind spots. We are all in process when it comes to our spiritual journey with Jesus. God gives us each other to help us grow. I have come to a place in my own life where when confronted, my default is to assume they are correct, especially when it is someone whom I know loves me. It doesn’t mean I don’t still wrestle with denial and excuse making.
Brothers and sisters, God has given us one another as a display of His love and grace. May we help one another, encourage one another, and when needed rebuke one another for our good and God’s glory.
Rest in Jesus,