Hit with Kindness
Read Psalm 141:3-5
Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. Let a righteous man strike me-that is a kindness; let him rebuke me-that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.
How do you handle temptation? How well do you accept godly counsel and accountability?
When I am struggling with temptation, I often ask someone close to me that I can trust to hold me accountable. For example, I might ask my spouse not to let me eat another snack before bed or to make sure I get up in the morning to workout. The accountability is helpful to me.
But on occasion, I receive a bit of accountability that I did not solicit. Maybe someone at church called me out on acting selfishly. Or rebuked me for participating in gossip. Maybe my spouse reprimanded me for my impatience with the kids. Getting called out often feels like a slap in the face.
But King David called a strike from a righteous man a “kindness.” When a righteous man rebuked him, it was like anointing his head with oil. David knew it was a blessing to receive correction.
If we pray as David did that God would keep us from evil, it is likely that God is going to use believers around us to speak truth into our lives whether we want to hear it or not. We don’t have to like the feeling of conviction. But we can choose how we react to it.
If we are wise, we’ll react as David did. We won’t refuse the reprimand. We’ll take it as a kindness. As an opportunity to course-correct and improve. After all, a fellow believer loved us enough to care about our holiness. David’s son Soloman put it this way in Proverbs 15:32, “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.”
Father, discipline doesn’t feel good in the moment. But I know it is for my own benefit to listen to the righteous and godly friends that You have placed into my life who speak truth. Help me to humbly receive it. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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