Spiritual Growing Pains
Some years ago I heard about a farmer who gave his neighbor a ride into town with his mule-drawn wagon. When the neighbor climbed into the wagon the farmer climbed out, wacked the Mule on the head with a two-by-two and climbed back into the wagon. The neighbor asked him why he did that. The farmer said: He won*t move until you get his attention. When it comes to being corrected spiritually, I have too often been like that mule. Sometimes the Lord has to get tough with me to get my attention. My flesh fights fiercely to avoid correction. It is painful to our flesh to be reproved. We need to get tough with it ourselves so the Lord won*t have to get tough on us. We need to do what Paul did. He kept his body under.
1 Corinthians 9:27: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
1 Corinthians11:31: For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
Hebrews 12:11: Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Proverbs 27:6: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
The friend might be the Bible, the Holy Spirit or a spirit-filled believer.
Psalms 141:5: Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
Proverbs 9:8: Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
The difference between a scorner and a wise man is that the scorner hates reproof and a wise man loves it.
Proverbs 19:25: Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
Proverbs 27:17: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.