These people are special because I trust their opinion
Reference: v.4 I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: There are not many people I like to shop with. Shopping for clothes is always a challenge for me as I find it boring and can never find the right piece of fashion that suits me.
The only people I have allowed into my infrequent shopping expeditions are my sister and a couple of friends – that’s it! These people are special because I trust their opinion knowing that they are looking for the best for me.
My sister can stand in a change room and say bluntly, “That does nothing for you” and I am not offended, as I would rather she say it than someone at work to think it! I appreciate her honesty in these situations.
Application: Buying clothes does not change my world and if I buy the wrong outfit it will not dictate my future (unless it is REALLY wrong!!). However, from my shopping trips I have discovered that I am very cautious about whom I allow to speak bluntly into my life.
Only when someone knows me really well will I give them permission to be truly honest about who I am.
We can still feel bristly when someone shares their thoughts on us, however, if we know they want us to be the best that we can be then we are more open to taking on their perspective.
Paul, the Apostle, had some fairly blunt opinions about the early churches that he planted. And he was not afraid to voice his thoughts.
It seems that he did ruffle some feathers along the way, but I think that those who opposed him failed to see where he was coming from. Paul’s greatest desire was to connect people to Christ.
Jesus had totally transformed Paul’s life and he knew that Jesus could do the same for anyone else who was open to Him. His passion to set people on the Jesus Journey was so fierce that he often put people’s noses out of joint along the way.
However, if we read his words, knowing the intention behind them, then we can see that Paul just wants what is best for all believers. He speaks his words out of love, not judgment, and even today we can still grow in our faith by heeding his advice.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for bringing people into our lives who can speak the truth and bring us into a greater relationship with You. May we be open to their words and strive to improve each and every day. Amen.
Who are the people in your life who can bring wisdom, guidance and honesty?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.