FAITH BLOG

I ACCEPT

"If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction you will be honored."  Proverbs 13:18 

Simply put, if you ignore correction dishonor will come, and if you accept correction, honor will come.  This is a challenging verse to “accept”.  Many times correction feels like dishonor, so it can be tough to see how it will actually bring honor.  Correction and criticism can have a negative connotation, and they can feel like rejection and an attack. It’s one of the reasons we tend to reject them.  They can hurt deeply, because many times the critic exposes and reveals the vulnerable areas of our lives. 

When a person hears correction, he has a powerful decision to make.  Do I listen and receive or do I reject what I have heard?  Do I get offended or do I grow?  Although, correction and criticism can come from the mouth of a loved one or from the mouth of an enemy, EITHER WAY there is value!  Some of my greatest opportunities to grow came from the mouth of those I “felt” wanted to do me harm, AND it has come from the mouth of those who loved me enough to harm me, figuratively speaking.  People who love you enough to speak hard truth in love and those who speak hard truth with no regard for love…BOTH are needed at times.

Correction causes you to retrace steps that you missed.  It can cause you to stop ignoring the areas of your life that have prevented honor from finding you.  Correction and criticism can make you fruitful and honorable in the areas of your life that have gone barren.  And so you have a choice to make…listen or ignore…be offended or be thankful…accept or reject correction and criticism!  I choose to accept! I choose to be thankful in everything.  I choose to grow.  I choose to listen.  I choose to receive honor, and in turn, honor the ONE who is transforming my life into something that is honorable…JESUS THE CHRIST!

Posted by Marc Stern with

WHAT WEEDS ARE IN YOUR GARDEN?

I make it a habit of regularly listening to and reading books to make my marriage better. Even though I have been married over thirty years, I have discovered there is always something I can learn from someone else’s wisdom. Some books have impacted me enough that I will go through them multiple times. Currently, I am reviewing What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp. Consider this quote from the book:

"Why is it that we don’t expect our gardens to just grow by themselves – yet we expect our marriages to blossom beautifully without the daily work of pulling up weeds and planting seeds? I must confess that I don’t get it. I don’t know why we think that the most comprehensive and long-term of all human relationships can stay alive and thrive without the same commitment we make to our gardens. Perhaps one of the fundamental sins that we all commit in our marriages is the sin of inattention… Is your marriage in some way a picture of neglect? Was it planted well? Has it been weeded and watered with regularity? Have you lacked the motivation to do the hard work of seeding and weeding and then stood back wondering why things don't look prettier than they do?” Pg. 101.

"[Many marriages are weedy, choking the life and love out of a marriage. We all are…] "weedy" people who need to pull personal and relational weeds daily so that the flowers of love and grace may grow. Sinners (which, in case you forgot, all of us are) always drag their sin into their marriages. Weeds of thought, decision, desire, motivation, word, action [and in action] cannot be completely avoided this side of heaven, so pulling weeds in the necessary commitment of any good marriage." Pg. 104.

My first response was: “OUCH!” If I am to love my wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25), then I need to actively create the proper environment for the garden of my marriage to grow and thrive. I need to own the condition of my garden. I need to weed my garden of my selfishness and sinfulness. Romans 14:19 states, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” The challenge to myself and all of you is: “What weeds are in your garden?” Commit to identify them and commit to remove them.

Posted by Michael Burner with

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