“And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Romans 12:5-11………………
“You hurt my feelings,” a woman told me long ago.
I didn’t hurt her feelings, mind you. She was hurt because I told her the truth. The truth hurt. The Lord had used me to give her a message. To deliver the truth. What she needed to hear. So she could make some changes in her life. But it was easier for her to point the finger at me and to be upset with me than it was for her to face the truth, to humble herself and repent, and to make the changes the Lord desired.
I have been on both sides of the fence countless times through the years. Sometimes the Lord has sent a messenger to help me see something I was doing wrong and needed to repent of. Other times the Lord has sent me to someone to deliver a message. It has been hard at times for me to hear the truth, and hard at times for others to hear the truth. But in all cases, something mightily important stood behind it all.
The Lord chastens us in His love for us, and in His desire we repent and turn to Him and make any necessary changes to be pleasing and honoring to Him, and Christ’s followers in our love for the Lord and for one another and for those who do not believe in Christ but need to be told of Him and introduced to Him and brought to Him need to be willing to speak the truth in love even when it’s hard to speak it and even when it may hurt for someone to receive. We also all need to be willing to hear the truth even when it hurts.
If the Lord has sent you a messenger, or messengers, and you’ve been refusing to hear the truth and repent and turn to Him, and to make any necessary changes, may now be the time you humble yourself and instead of fretting over hurt feelings be thankful the Lord in His love for you and the messenger in his or her love for you came to you with the truth. And if the Lord is compelling you to go to someone else with a message of truth, always to be delivered in Christ’s love but most assuredly at times to be delivered firmly and even sternly if and as the Lord directs you, may you in God’s love and strength deliver the message.
This isn’t about our feelings, friend. It’s not about our flesh. It’s about the Lord and the truth that the Lord chastens us in His love for us and when He desires uses messengers to confront us with the truth so we are given the opportunity to seek His forgiveness and turn to Him with all our hearts – and to give Him ALL of our lives!