It Is Not Easy Being Told, It Is Not Easy Telling

How would you describe children? Your children? What is remarkable about children? One that gets overlooked is their innate honesty. I call it brutal honesty. This honesty makes for some memorable situations, embarrassing and hilarious at the same time. Mine can’t hold back. It is not that they are nit-picky to be overly critical, I think it is just who they are, who most kids are. “Dad, you got ketchup on your shirt.” “Dad, you don’t need to wear blue scrubs today.” “Dad, that’s not my name.” Mine race each other to do this. In most cases I appreciate their candor in letting me know that something is amiss. I do wish that tact was more present, but… Wonder if maybe this candor, this honesty found in children was a small piece of the puzzle when Jesus makes mention that those who will have access to the kingdom of heaven resemble little children (Matt. 18:1-2). I mentioned honesty and candor, I think what I really mean is boldness. Kids are bold to say what is on their mind, they say (more than adults) what needs to be said. Ever wonder why Peter and the assembled disciples
prayed for boldness after Peter and John were released by the Sanhedrin? Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,”

It is not easy to be forthcoming in the face of those that likely do not want to be shown what they are doing is wrong and that you, in fact, can aid them, such as the Sanhedrin who still received an invitation to come to the Lord in belief and repentance. Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” The “we” as stated by the Apostle Peter referred not to John and himself only, but to all who were in attendance that day. Though the Apostles were mistreated publicly in front of the crowd the day prior, they still offered an invitation to find salvation. To do this, to mimic their attitude and spirit, to be a true disciple of the Lord, one must have boldness. What motivates us to want to help the sin-sick, the wayward? The Apostle Paul wrote of this, 1 Cor. 13:6 “love does not rejoice in iniquity…” Love motivates disciples to teach the lost the way of salvation.

It is not easy being told, is it? We sometimes guard the impact as the words enter thru our ears and get close to our synapses of understanding, then we test what we do with what has been said to us. Pride gets in the way of progress. What is one other aspect of children that Jesus seems to commend? Their humility. Their acceptance of correction. At what point do so many “grown” adults allow pride to refuse correction and help? I cannot answer that, only the Lord who looks on the inward parts of the heart. But what I do know is how the Creator responds to man’s prideful heart. 1 Pet. 5:5 “… for God resists the proud…”.

Humble request- pray for God’s people to be bold in proclaiming, teaching, and living the Gospel. Pray that disciples take to this, motivated out of love, and do so with a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1). Pray now also for the lost, the erring, that pride might give way to humbleness. That their denial might vanish when realizing God’s deliverance. Pray that God be glorified. It is not easy to be told that you are wrong, yet it may save your soul. It is not easy to tell someone they are wrong, but it is our duty and our souls depend upon it as well… something about watchmen from Ezekiel rings a bell (Eze. 33:6-7). To the sinner, Jesus has died for you. Out of love, Jesus offers you the remedy. To the wayward, Jesus is patiently calling you back. Will you meet this boldness and love with humility or pride?

Theron Smith (8/22/2021)

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