Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
No one likes to be told areas where they could improve, especially when there have been times that someone gave “crushing criticism” masked as “constructive criticism’”. The message may have been necessary but the delivery could have been improved. I have been on both ends of this. Being the messenger who delivered a truth in a less-than-kind way and the one to receive it in that same way.
With this in mind, I write this devotional from lessons I have learned in the trenches and through the Word. Being sharpened is absolutely necessary although we may not want to admit it. As Christians, we all have blind spots or areas that we may not see as sinful or in need of correction unless we allow the spotlight of Truth to reveal it.
Can I make a bold statement? No one is exempt from needing to be sharpened. When we look at the New Testament, we see thirteen letters from the Apostle Paul to several churches that he had been given leadership over. These letters are known as the Pauline Epistles.
In each of these letters, Paul both encourages and guides the members of each congregation. Paul models for us how to sharpen and support the body of Christ by reminding them of the standard that best honors God in their day-to-day living. He did not shy away from his responsibility to celebrate or correct the behavior and beliefs of his fellow believers.
Sharpening should always lead our brothers and sisters to rise to a standard of holiness established by God, not ourselves. It should not depict us as better than each other but, instead, point us to the ways of Christ so that we do not stain the reputation of our Holy God. I once heard someone say, “It is not judgment to point out what The Judge Meant.” Sharpening should not be presented as judgment but should instead bring deeper revelation and awareness to what The Judge (God) meant.
Who is one person in your life that you trust to sharpen you even when it feels uncomfortable? Let me know in the blog comments.
Rachel G. Scott
Rachel is a wife and a mother, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. She has been featured nationally and internationally on television, podcast, radio, devotionals, and blogs. As the Founder of the I Can’t Come Down movement, an organization dedicated to helping women walk in their purpose and assignment with focus, she is a former Huffington post contributor and current Youversion and Moody Radio Cleveland Partner. She is also part of The Well Communicators a faith-based speaking team.
Rachel is deeply devoted to serving God, loving and honoring her husband and raising her children in a Godly home where they experience authenticity and learn to embrace their imperfections.