rebuke the wise and they will love you….(Proverbs 9:8).
Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time receiving a tremendous amount of constructive criticism. I was told time and time again about all of the things I did wrong. I was corrected, instructed and challenged. Towards the end of the day, as my body started to wear out, my mind, and the things I was being taught started to fade as well. It was easier to go back to old habits while officiating on the basketball court once my legs started to wear out.
This past weekend I had the joy of spending nearly all of my time on the basketball court, receiving training and instruction on how to become a better official. I was surrounded by men and women who had been officiating for many, many years. Their wisdom and insight were things I was hungry to learn from. There were times when I was officiating with a crew of people who didn’t receive constructive criticism well. They didn’t embrace the wisdom of the more seasoned officials with much humility and often answered their corrections with a number of excuses.
I’ve been like that, quick to make excuses when someone offers me a wise rebuke. I feel like their rebuke says that there’s something wrong with me. I’ve learned though, that we all struggle. We all need to and should be seeking out rebuke from time to time.
Until we surround ourselves with wise mentors in the faith, it is highly unlikely that we will grow much in maturity. There’s a great need in the body of Christ to come around one another. To be shoulder to shoulder in the faith and support one another. There’s no shame in not knowing all the answers as a Christian. We need the support of wise mentors who can stand with us when we fail and give us the grace to get back up and try again.
I have found when people are unable to give us grace it comes from insecurity in their own heart to offer it for themselves. They have bought into the lie that they need to pretend to be something they’re not. They need to pretend that their life is perfect or close to it. Don’t seek mentorship from people like that, they’ll be quick to offer you little grace and make you feel like a failure. I’m only saying this because I’ve lived in that place and have seen how my projection of perfection has hurt other people.
When my life is set on Christ, with my heart at rest in His promises it is easier to apply what wise counsel is teaching me. However, when my body and soul are tired I find myself reverting to some unhealthy patterns. We must balance work and rest with being humble enough to receive wise counsel. This is how we grow as Christians in maturity. Without humility, we’re sure to stay stuck in the same old patterns. Thankfully, with God’s grace, we can grow into brand new people as we surround ourselves with people who love us towards truth.
Lord, I long to be a wise woman. I don’t always get it right. Surround me with people who can help me grow and mature in my faith. People who have walked the journey of faith longer than me and who can instill your wisdom and truth into my heart. Jesus, make me new, in your name, Amen.