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Blessing With A Sting

  In my childhood years I had my share of scrapes and bumps.  In those days mother used a product called Mercurochrome to disinfect the wounds.  it stung sharply when it was applied to the wound.  When I protested, my mother used to say the sting is evidence that the product is working, killing the bacteria and cleansing the wound.  In my immature mind, I pictured the evil bugs scratching and clawing the wound in their death throes.  But mother knew what she was doing.  Even though it stung it was for my own good.

  A timely rebuke can be the same way.  The message can sting, but it is delivered for our own good.  When someone points out a fault, it hurts, but the Bible teaches that if we heed reproof we are showing wisdom.

  When a friend or loved one tells us something unpleasant about us, let's not get angry with them.  Carefully consider what made them say what they said.  What are they seeing in us that we cannot see for ourselves?  Maybe there was a misunderstanding and only a small part of it is true, but we need to prayerfully consider the part which is true.  The Bible teaches that those who listen openly and honestly to reproof will be at home among the wise.

  The closer a person is to us, the harder it is for us to humbly receive criticism.  It might come from our spouse or from our closest friend.  Comments from them should carry the most weight.  They know us well and have a Christian love for us.

  If we are giving someone constructive criticism, let us remember to remove as much of the sting as we can.  We need to assure others of our love, of our confidence in them, and that our love is what causes us to approach them.


Lester k Burkholder (guest writer)