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Category: Bible – Books of the New Testament

How to be Used by God

Hearing criticism about our self is never easy to accept, even when it is done in love

Can You Handle the Truth?
Painful Lessons

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:5-11

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 2:1-2

So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved?

In our scriptures for today, we get a hint of the apostle Paul’s rebuke to the Corinthian church’s leadership. They were not acting properly when it came to dealing with its members. The apostle needed to take on the role of a modern day “Simon.” Paul realized the leaders of that church had to bear the truth with total clarity. It obviously caused some tension and pain among the brethren.

This week we have tried to describe one essential slice of being used of God. The other three weeks this month describe the other “slices.” “Finding a Simon” is easily avoided by most people. It is almost like signing up for surgery, who wants to do that? But if we can truly understand how easy it is to deceive ourselves, living in denial, then we can see how critical it is to find a “Simon.”

If you decide to take this step, be prayerful about it. Ask God to help you discern who would tell you the truth in love. Hearing criticism about our self is never easy to accept, even when it is done in love. Over the years I’ve watched criticism destroy people’s relationships instead of improving them. It’s my opinion that pride is the underlying sin that makes constructive criticism ineffective. Our pride is hurt – we want to be perfect… we want to have total approval of those around us. When someone lovingly tries to help us improve, it’s easy to react in negative ways, thus losing the benefits of this loving constructive criticism. If we are going to be used of God in ever-increasing ways, we must find and benefit from our “Simon!”

Father, grant me inner strength to heed ‘corrective’ advice and keep a humble spirit before you! In Jesus’ Name, amen.