And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, (2 Timothy 2:24-25 NKJV).
What is your reaction when a friend confides, “I’m going to be very frank with you.” Do you grasp his hand and pull him to a chair so he can sit down and tell you your shortcoming? Do you shout for joy that another glimpse of your true nature is about to be discovered? Do you get a knot in your stomach and begin to think defensively, “Oh, what is he going to say and how am I going to respond?
If he has a compliment, you are only too glad to have him say it; and you don’t even get away from a crowd in order for him to say it. Many methods have been given to approach a person: such as, start with a praise about a person in order to soften the criticism that follows. The truth is, we usually resist facing up to our faults and reject the person who helps to do that.
Jesus Christ gave the precise explanation for this when He said:
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:20 NKJV)
Our tendency is to shrink away from reproof as we do pain. We know there is a problem, but we don’t want to face up to dealing with it.
Reproof, however, is good—like the surgeon’s scalpel or the dentist’s drill. The process is painful, but the result is health. Sometimes we avoid the doctor because we do not want to hear bad news.
Studying the Bible is a sure way to get at the truth about yourself, but it takes some effort and no one can force you to study it. The daily requirements of marriage, or the give-and-take situations that arise between college roommates, or the necessity for members of a committee or an athletic team to work in harmony, can likewise be immensely helpful to the individual who would get at the bottom of his problem. As the truth about you emerges from some probing stimulus, you will either face it directly or turn from it. You will mellow or harden, depending on what you choose to do about your discovery.
Like fever that warns all is not well in the body, a gnawing sense of uneasiness in your relationships with others ought to make you aware that all is not well between you and the people in your life.
When you get a glimpse of your true nature, it is to be expected that you will want to dodge the truth. But be aware that when you deny what you find in the recesses of your life, the results will be anxiousness and vague unhappiness that slowly envelop you in their tentacles.
- The first step toward peace is to discover yourself.
- The second step is to square up with the truth you find.
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. (Romans 6:22 NKJV)