Sunday, July 22, 2018

A FRIENDLY CHASTISEMENT

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Proverbs 27:5-6 (KJV)
Open rebuke is better than secret love. [6] Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

It probably must have been hard and embarrassing for Peter who was handed over leadership of the early church by Christ, to see himself openly rebuked by Paul, who formerly persecuted Christians. However, because in humility he accepted and saw in the rebuke God's truth, this same Peter would later affectionately refer to Paul as a beloved brother. Paul was truly a friend (Gal 2:11-14, 2 Pet 3:15).

The word of God in Hebrews 12:7-12 talks about accepting correction from God and from earthly parents. It is quite understandable for one to accept chastisement when the chastiser is of higher authority, but what happens when it's from a perceived peer or a friend?

In truth, God is far higher than us in Authority and Might, but in an incredible act of love, He brought Himself down to our level and called us His brethren and friends (Heb 2:9-11, Jn 15:15).

It may hurt us more when a friend points out to us our wrongs, but it pays in the end because we very often confide more about ourselves to them than we would to our rulers, parents, etc., so our friends know how to be of help to us more personally (Pro 18:24).

We must reject pride and mustn't be believers who only respond to correction if it comes from the top, but not from our own peers, otherwise, the enemy will capitalize on our ego to bring us down (Matt 23:12).

From today, determine to be humble to not only accept rebuke from your believing peers but also be bold enough to confess your faults to them as well, for prayers from such meetings lead to deliverance (Jam 5:16, Job 42:8-10).
—Chibo E.C

Bible in 1 Year: Leviticus 16-18 (in today's audio)
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