Beware of that ostrich mentality

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Micah 2

It's probably safe to say that no one enjoys being corrected and disciplined. I certainly don't enjoy it. I even get a little defensive--believe it or not. :)

Well Micah's audience didn't like it either. So much so that they told Micah to be quiet, to not preach or deliver his message of judgment. And then they informed him that what he was prophesying wouldn't happen ("disgrace will not overtake us" Micah 2:6). You see Micah's audience was so steeped in, and blinded by, their own sin that they were no longer objective. They refused to listen, let alone consider or act upon, the important message he had for them.

So when we're on the receiving end of a hard hitting message, how should we respond initially? What can we do after the fact to determine if the message is valid?

Now let's turn the table. What if we're in a position to deliver a hard message? How can we prepare for that and what might that conversation look like? Tami W.

P.S. I know this is tough to discuss, but it's important.

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You are right... this is hard to discuss. However, it is important for us to hear admonition carefully because we typically have an initial "emotional" response to anything challenges us. Our first reaction is to say "that does not pertain to me". Knowing this potential problem is there, we can now condition our minds to think about it after the fact and ask ourselves the tough question... "does this pertain to me?" Likewise, knowing this helps us to deliver a tough message because we can be prepared for the receiver's attitude which may be much like our own initial response to a challenging comment.

As a young adult, over a period of time, friends lovingly confronted me about my mood swings. One day I was on top of the world, the next day I was down in the dumps. A close friend put it this way: "Andy, you have a gift for explaining God's Word. But your mood swings conflict with your message. Your mood swings indicate that you don't believe God is in control of your circumstances." Initially, I was defensive. Their words stung. I felt my friends didn't understand me. At first, I rationalized away their observations by saying, "That's just the way God made me." But, over time, I took their confrontation to the Lord. And that began a process in which the Lord has leveled out my personality. Today, 20 years later, I'm grateful for my friends' love and courage. And I'm glad I didn't blow off their words.

Funny how words of admonition can stick w/ the memory for so long. Yesterday I was reminded of my neighbor telling me that my sarcasm that I often used was offensive. (I think I had gotten that form of humor from my dad.) Since then, I have tried to use such words very sparingly. That is a FORTY year old memory. I know that neighbor cared about me, else she never would have said anything.

It is just as hard to confront someone else, but that is what is necessary sometimes in "tough love."
Stella Ann M

Back in college I was part of a leadership team for a campus ministry. I was once approached by a staff member who wanted to talk to me about some things she noticed about my priorities. It was so difficult to hear I had let her down by some of my choices. And while my first thought was to shoot back an excuse, I merely listened and then took some time to think about her words. She was right, and I made some adjustments.

When we choose to view someone's words through the filter of knowing they love and care about us, it can help lessen our natural reaction of defensiveness. It's always good to be reminded that our choices not only affect us...they affect so many others as well. It's actually a blessing to have a few people around us who can keep us on the right track. I know I'm a much better person because of bold words spoken in love by dear friends.

We all seem to agree that admonition can be hard to take, but if we want to be good followers of Christ we have to be open and listen to people who cares or loves us enough to bring these things to our attention. In the end, it is not about us it is about Jesus and if we serve Him then we have to be sure that what we say or how we behave is reflective of a good and godly life. Sometimes we come across as if we know it all and our mannerisms give us away. So let us thank anyone who sees something negative in us that we ourselves have not seen and also thank God for them, because this could be from God.

If we have to deliver a hard message then it is always good to take the matter to Jesus and ask Him for guidance, the right words to say, and pray that the person will be receptive. In everything we do, let us seek Him first and I guarantee He will not let us down when our concern comes from the heart and not from envy or greed.
May we always allow God into our hearts, giving Him thanks and praise and blessing His Holy name.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on December 15, 2009 5:08 AM.

Say hello to Micah was the previous entry in this blog.

I want to be like Micah... is the next entry in this blog.

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