If a close friend of mine came up to me and said "Sharon, I am seeing some attitudes that concern me and this is what I see..." While I usually don't find it pleasant, I often realize that they are right. We talk through it and pray together, I'll hug her, thank her for loving me enough to confront me and go about my day. But if someone who I know doesn't particularly like me comes to me and says the exact same thing my reaction is totally different. I question her motives, feel defensive and sometimes get angry. But why? Both spoke truth, didn't they? Yes one truly does have my best interest at heart, but because someone speaks with the wrong motive it doesn't make it any less true, does it?
I've been wondering how God would have me react. Shouldn't I be willing to take an honest look at what is said, regardless of who says it? God can use my enemies to refine my character as much as He can use my closest friends. Instead of becoming angry and defensive maybe I need to recognize truth as truth regardless of who speaks it. What a testimony to my "enemy" if I would thank her for pointing that out. Let her know that I have seen it and that I've been praying that God would really work in that area. Maybe even ask her if she would be willing to pray for me in that area. Maybe I might even win over a friend!
Oh Father, this is so hard! And yet I know that you would desire that I have a loving, patient and merciful attitude toward those who criticize me. Father I pray that I might be humble enough to see and admit my weaknesses no matter who you use to show me. God I thank you that you continue to show me the areas that I still need to grow in. Amen.