“My next prayer concerns you.”
I perked up. “Oh? Go on.”
I was having my monthly fellowship meeting with two dear brothers in Jesus Christ. At the beginning of each meeting we share our prayer concerns with each other. Usually the prayers center upon issues dealing with our families. My brother’s statement riveted my attention.
“Brother, I need to share with you that I was very disturbed by your actions the last time we met.” He then reminded me of what happened. I remembered the incident well. It was very poor behavior on my part and I unhesitatingly demonstrated it in front of my two brothers.
My mind was racing as he rebuked me. Should I defend myself? Should I justify my actions? No. I knew he was absolutely correct. Nonetheless, it took me several days to get over this. It was more than the fact that I sinned, caught in the act and embarrassed before my two brothers. I was an affront to God. I immediately apologized to my two brothers. After the meeting, alone with God, I repented of my sins and asked His forgiveness. God used this brother in Jesus Christ to rebuke my actions. It was painful and still is.
An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Proverbs 27:5-6 (NLT)
I have very few friends who would be willing to directly confront me with my sins. The most obvious reason is most of my sins, as for many of us, are not readily observable by others, usually hidden in my thought life. Other sins may be overlooked by those close to us, not wishing to offend. Yet no sin can be hidden from God and if I insist on continuing in my sinful ways, God can and does speak through others to rebuke me.
Love is more than blissful feelings. Love also involves discipline and correction. It may wound but in doing so, opens and exposes our heart to experience God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.