Points to Ponder: Truth that hurts can be truth that helps

Points to Ponder
Truth that hurts can be truth that helps
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

In our above ground pool, the kids like to "make a whirlpool," by swimming repeatedly around the rim. Faster, faster they go and the current runs strong. But in our pool the manufacturer warns against this activity; it compromises its structural stability.
So someone has to stop and stand up against the current. Their own body firmly fixed in position breaks the powerful cycle that could, if left to go on, break down the pool itself. It's hard to stand against a powerful negative current. But in life, that's what God's people must do to disrupt the destructive currents that some, even well intentioned, people keep stirring. Be it in one's life, or in one's community, if God's people will not stand firm against the currents of destruction, who will?
"I could never tell him that." Have you ever said, or thought those words, when you have realized a truth about someone? A friend, a spouse, even a close confidant; you have insight that a problem is apparent. If this person could see what you are seeing, if they could understand what they're doing, they would want to change it. Right? You know their values, their objectives; certainly they would want to know that they are undermining their own desires. The insight comes to you as if you have put on spiritual eyeglasses; you see the trap, your eye can trace the chain that binds them. Then, there's the key: awareness. Knowledge is power. If only they knew, then they would see. Then they could break the lock.
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend" (Proverbs 27:6).
But then again, suppose they only sense the wounds, and fail to grasp your faithfulness?
"I could never tell him that?
And they go on, down the slippery slope unaware they have greased the slide themselves. But what can you say when you know they won't hear what you said? What will they see when they won't open their eyes?
The question then arises: Should you just go ahead and say what must be said? Is your duty to tell contingent upon their willingness to listen?
In the New Testament, one of the most frequently quoted Old Testament passages comes from Isaiah. God told him to preach the Truth to his people even though they would not hear. In fact, that Truth would only confirm them in their stubborn course toward destruction.
"And He said, 'Go, and tell this people: Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' " (Isaiah 6:9).
Sometimes the reception of a message of truth comes in stages. The initial word may be ignored or rejected; maybe more than once. But the seed can be planted. Sometimes, as with Isaiah, you are the initiator. Someone, with a loving heart and pure intent, is in position to begin the process. Even if you come away feeling like the person rejected you and the whole thing blew up in your face, that may be exactly what needed to happen to motivate a course correction in the person's life.
When you see someone heading for self-destruction, you may have been given place to witness it. It may be God's call upon you to intercede.
"Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Surely we did not know this,' does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?" (Proverbs 24:11-12)
To pretend you didn't see it; to turn your head and say you didn't know, may convince some, but the Lord sees all and He knows.
"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small" (Proverbs 24:10)
If Christ has made you different, then you can make a difference.

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45AM and 10:45PM. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.