Encouragement is always easier to receive than rebuke. Yet, we all need both. Truly we do. Unfortunately, most people put all their energy into defending and protecting themselves instead of opening to whatever truth is being presented. That’s a sign of insecurity, and possibly pride. A secure person who is humble doesn’t worry too much about their defense. Maybe a little. But they rally with courage, receive an honest message, pray through it, filter out whatever is irrelevant, and apply whatever is helpful. It’s as if they are saying, “It is what it is. And that’s OK, because I’m aiming for more of Christ.” They are willing to accept the bottom line: we affect each other.
Do you ever feel you just can’t get your act together? Do you sometimes doubt what you bring to the table? Maybe you think you simply don’t have much to contribute. You do love the Lord and want to serve Him. You want your life to make a difference in this world. However:
- Eloquence – thinking on your feet – is not your native tongue.
- You lack wisdom.
- Blaring in your face is your weakness, not your strength.
- Although you trust God, you find fears nesting in your heart. Fear of failure, pain, what people will think, missing God’s best, exposing unattractive character in yourself or someone else, hurting or letting someone down, your past haunts future progress.
- The task before you is overwhelming. You tremble at what God asked you to do.