Thursday, August 9, 2012

Would Someone Please Just Tell Me!?!

Here's a scenario: You love doing backflips on your quad using a wooden ramp. However, unbeknownst to you, this made some of your friends, even close friends, nervous because some of the boards looked loose. None could muster the courage to tell you directly (perhaps because you've not taken reproof well in the past), so they eventually brought their concerns to your parents, who intended to relay those concerns to you. However, they hesitated for some time while waiting for the right time to tell you so as to not offend you. However, while they were waiting, the top board of your ramp finally gave way, your quad went flying through the air in an uncontrolled spin, and broke your arm in the landing. So now, you are lying in a hospital bed recovering from reconstructive surgery, and your dad strolls into your luxurious room, sits down in the chair, and this dialog follows:
"Well son, how's your arm feeling?
"Better, but it still smarts somethin' fierce.
"The Doc said that the pain meds should be kicking in soon. Listen, there's something that your mother and I should have told you awhile ago. You see, a couple of your friends expressed concern about the integrity of your ramp, and we were going to tell you, but we didn't want to hurt your feelings, so we waited for the right time to tell you. But it looks like we waited too long."
"What? You were worried that my feelings would be hurt? I think I'd rather been offended than have this broken arm."
"Hmm, good point. Well, what could we do differently in the future?"
"Maybe if I didn't let my feelings be hurt or get defensive when someone comes to me with advice or a reprimand, people would be more likely to voice concerns to me?"
"Son, I think you've hit the nail on the proverbial head."
•  •  •
Ok, now I know that this is NOT one of the best analogies ever devised (nor even close), but I think it gets the point across. If you think that someone else is in error, bring your concern to him. Even if he gets upset, you will have the knowledge that you did the right thing, and then it's up to the Lord to change his heart. Proverbs 24:25: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.
So, there are two morals to this story. Moral 1 is for the recipient of reproof:
Proverbs 15:31: The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
Proverbs 15:32: He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
Moral 2 is for him that offers the reproof:
Titus 2:6: Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.  
Hebrews 3:13: But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Here's the clearest one: 
Proverbs 27:5: Open rebuke is better than secret love.
 This verse, I think, carries a lot of weight in and of itself. Basically, it's saying if you really love someone (as in brotherly love), then you will do what's best for him, rather than what simply makes you both feel good. And in the long run, if he isn't a fool, in the future he will thank you for it.

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