Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- January 7, 2011
“I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” Amos 7:14-15
Surround yourself with truth tellers—those who define reality for you. They are not intimidated to speak the truth with grace and directness. Their only fear is God. Pray for gifted truth tellers who have a God-given innateness to discern situations, people, and a wise course of action. Sometimes their counsel will not be what you want to hear.
However, if you are wise you will listen anyway. Do not allow your ego or pride to run rough shod over a truth teller. Do not marginalize them because what they have to say makes you uncomfortable or even upset. Make sure you value and even celebrate truth tellers in your life. They are few and far between, so latch on to the one the Lord sends.
Even when the spirit of a truth teller is not stellar, still listen. Get beyond your hurt feelings and learn from the truth. “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27: 6). It is better to receive a slight injury from the truth early on than to be bludgeoned by it later. Receive truth tellers into your life and you will be better positioned to receive the blessings of God.
Moreover, make sure you hear truth from someone steeped in the word of God, as it’s penetrating and life changing. You cannot be confronted with God’s word and stay the same. You will either recoil in apathy or respond in humility and growth. Do not be satisfied to stay the same. Hold the plumb line of God’s standards over your morals and ethics. Then conform your behavior into those eternal patterns of living.
Pitiful is the man or woman who is surrounded by only those who tell them what they want to hear, instead of wisely surrounding themselves with those who will tell them what they need to hear. Take an inventory of your close personal advisors. Have you created an environment of openness and confrontation by giving them permission to hold you accountable? Is there fear of reprisal or are they rewarded for challenging your thinking and/or behavior? Truth tellers are a gift from God, so cherish and value them.
Look for ways to enhance their abilities even more. Maybe there is a need to engage a personal coach who has no agenda other than God’s best for you. Someone who can help you define your God given priorities and hold you accountable to execute them in a wise and systematic way. Receiving truth leads to liberty, so enjoy your freedom in obedience!
“Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31b-32).
Who do I need to listen to and learn from who is telling me the truth?
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