A little boy once asked me if a lot of people read the things I write. When I told him that sometimes my words reach hundreds (and occasionally thousands) of people, he was impressed. Then another little boy piped up, “Yeah, but there’s like seven billion people in the world.”
I laughed. Honesty is cute when it comes from kids, who really do say things bluntly. Do we take correction so well, however, when it comes from those close to us who have the courage to confront us about far more serious things? When they point out that our life choices are having a negative impact on our lives? Not so much.
I really don’t want to hear that my quick tongue and sarcastic words hurt you. Nobody wants to hear that their drinking is starting to affect relationships. We don’t want someone to tell us that our interest in politics might be taking the place of our relationship with our eternal King Jesus. I don’t like hearing someone say, “That’s gossip; let’s not go there.”
But these are exactly the kinds of things the people closest to us need to be free to say. Before we get defensive, let’s take a deep breath and remember the time when a really wise man named Solomon wrote, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid” (Proverbs 12:1).