Someone confronted, challenged, and rebuked me this week. God was overwhelmingly gracious. He showed me what a true friend is. He even taught me a specific lesson I need in this season of life.
A True Friend
“Better an open reprimand than concealed love. The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive” (Proverbs 27:5-6).
One of my best friends and dearest brothers in Christ rebuked me. I initially felt defensive and was tempted to manufacture excuses. He raised a question about something I failed to do that confused, offended, and hurt him. I told him I would be available for a particular event and then I switched my schedule and totally forgot that I said I would be at a particular event.
God graciously moved my heart to listen instead of respond. I was so blessed by God through him. God convicted me that my “yes” was not yes. I failed to obey Christ and keep my word (Matthew 5:37; James 4:12). I asked God and my brother for forgiveness. God blessed me even beyond this conviction, call, and gift of repentance.
A Lesson Learned
My brother brought up another issue in my life. I tend to focus on 1-2 things that are most important in my life at the moment and let everything else fall apart. I fail to execute on the less urgent things that are still important. Failures–that are not necessarily sinful–were exposed in my life. God is calling me to grow to serve my brothers and sisters more effectively. I must make a conscious effort to be more organized and effective in planning and executing. After the rebuke God used it to improve my preparation for my pastoral intern discussion on Thursday night, a pastor-theologian discussion with two pastors from the Philippines, and our pastor council on Friday night. I have a long way to go. There is so much room for growth in planning and executing on the opportunities to love God, church members, and neighbors well. God taught our church fam two weeks ago to pray and expect God to fulfill more and more of our desires for goodness (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12). He has kept my desires high while using rebuke, feedback, and conversations to fulfill even more of the good desires he is stirring in my soul. God has answered the 2 Thessalonians 1:11 prayers we have been praying for one another. All glory be to Christ.
Who are your true and loving friends? How can you love your friends more effectively? What is God teaching you about his goodness in Christ through conversations that correct you?