“They just have to love me, right? No matter what!”
What do you mean, “No matter what?
“Irrespective of how I act!”
What does my behavior tell the world about my life in Christ?
It ultimately reflects what I believe about God.
If needed, am I to be instructed, corrected, rebuked, reproved (2 Tim 3:16)?
Do I give my family and friends the right to do so?
Or, do I fight them? Reject what they have to say?
If I reject them, what does that reveal about me?
It reveals this: If I cannot show Him, then I do not truly know Him, for it’s both inner and outer working.
“(12) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God Who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
I remember once and early in my military service that our platoon had a “hot-seat” session.
Each, by turns, sat on the chair in the middle while those encircling said what they thought of him.
At minimum, they spoke from observation, impressions.
Each was hopeful for the more positive comments.
It could be pretty brutal.
Never leave a man behind, but let each see how he measures up.
It was useful, for each needed to know how he was perceived.
They needed to be able to count on each, and maybe they couldn’t.
The goal was known, as was each man’s position relative to it.
If things aren’t going well for you, I hope it won’t take a hot-seat intervention for you to accept such honesty from your family and friends.
If they truly love you, they do it for your good, not your harm.
If they truly love you, they want a win-win for you and them.
We all win when we accept what we need to hear from the Lord.
“(5) … you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him: (6) for whom the Lord loves He chastens and scourges every son whom He receives. (7) If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father does not chasten? (8) But if you are without chastisement, of which all are sharers, then are you bastards, and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had earthly fathers who corrected us, and we reverenced them: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? (10) For they certainly for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but He does it for our profit, that we might be sharers of His holiness. (11) Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to them who are exercised by it.” Hebrews 12:5-11