Reading through the Bible together
“He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue” (v. 23). These words are sometimes hard to believe, given the culture we live in today. We live in a culture that teaches us that we ought not to offend anyone. And if a person feels offended, then someone must have done him or her wrong.
If I’m honest with myself, I’ll have to admit that I am offended every day, that is, when I study the Word of God. Sure the Bible is saturated with great and uplifting words, but it also cuts me deeply because at times my heart and life is contrary to God’s Word. On the surface you may wonder why a true friend would ever want to wound another. But when I stop to think, I realize that I am sinful by nature and as a result, God’s words of righteousness should naturally wound me now and again.
But God is a true friend who does not flatter me with His words, but a friend who looks after my best interest. He constantly desires to refine my character to be fit for heaven. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Notice also that we really want to help and improve each another. And acquaintances rarely feel comfortable pointing out the negatives in us, but true friends find courage to do so in love. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” As friends, we were meant to prepare and refine one another for heaven.
“Dear Lord, thank you for pointing out the negatives in my life. And help me in my family to carefully and lovingly point out the negatives in their life and to gratefully receive the negatives they point out in my life. Amen.”
Director of Fundraising
Hope Channel, Inc.