Have you ever meet someone that always seems to tell you exactly what you DO NOT want to hear? The person that just always seems to have the exact words to rub you in a way that is uncomfortable but you also know their words are true. We all have parts of ourselves we do not like. Parts we wish were not there. Part that are rough, not desirable and overall a pain in our sides. As Paul says “these thorns in our sides.” Then there are the special people that manage to always make us aware of those parts.
Although we never like hearing these things it is often what we need to be listening to. We need encouragement, love and affirmation but we also need someone occasionally pointing out our not to nice side. For me Paul’s letters to the churches often fill this purpose. He often says things I do not necessarily like hearing. He often says things that make me uncomfortable.
But just like we all need love, we all need these uncomfortable words to help us grow and mature. We sometimes need to surround ourselves with people that love, encourage and support us. But also people that tell us hard truths, calls us out and says flat out that’s not from God. Without having both sides of these coins we cannot be healthy people.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love.Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:9-21