We obey because:1. He first loved us, 2.we owe a great debt,3. doing it His way couldn’t be any worse than doing it my way,4. we believe He exists and will reward those who diligently seek Him etc
For full motivation it is good to think through and let the Holy Spirit show us the BLESSINGS of doing it His way and the CURSES of doing it “our” way. Blessings to us, to others, to His kingdom, to His name.
Lets take the example of God’s command to examine ourselves, to let ALL scripture reprove us, to ask God to search our hearts, to let iron sharpen iron.
If you remember; all scripture will first establish TRUTH and all TRUTH will REPROVE and REPROOF will lead to CORRECTING the thing reproved and being CORRECTED will lead to EQUIPPING which will lead our developing the CHARACTER OF CHRIST which will lead to ministry. So many people want to jump reproof and correction and go straight to ministry or to declaring themselves equipped. THERE IS NO MOVING AROUND REPROOF. Without that, all the rest vanishes.
BLESSINGS (in no particular order of importance) OF FEEDBACK
- Understanding why others struggle
- No need for defense or blame or excuses or explanations which all tire us out and impress no one. Instead free to repent and grow.
- Enjoying shared fellowship with others who are being real.
- Have our ways directed: by God through friends, family, finances, health
- Understand Doctrine’s purpose and meaning,application, and “SO WHAT?” better.
- When we do mess up and then apologize, others listen and cut us slack.
- Experience continuous growth throughout our lives as friends are willing to have their iron sharpen ours’
- Enjoy the affirmation of others, that our lives have allowed God to minister to them.
- Find that we are in the position, by virtue of our allowing reproof and correction, to minister to others.
- Find tools and truth and support that helps us grow.
- Find forgiveness and new trust and involvement and relationship with those we have offended.
- Continue to receive valuable confrontation because the others are rewarded by our appreciation and change after their previous confrontation.
CURSES OF NOT BEING OPEN TO FEEDBACK
- Criticizing others for the same things we do.
- Constantly inventing explanations blame and excuses that no one accepts any longer.
- Losing the real relationships with those who call our bluff and only hang out with those who really don’t know us or won’t confront us.
- Unable to commit to responsibility that brings criticism, thus wander without direction, always becoming and never being, because all being is imperfect and thus leaves us open to evaluation.
- Be full of doctrine, quoting scripture but unable to apply it since the next step would be to let it reprove us.
- Always apologizing but never changing so that others grow weary of our apologies and we wonder why they won’t just drop it and trust us now.
- Slide slowly backwards, because growth requires ongoing self examination and feedback from others. (When I was in the military I found out that anyone over the rank of captain became steadily more irrational because they no longer received feedback.)
- Being always hungry for affirmation but winding up having to praise ourselves and still feeling no sense of value because any praise we receive is hollow, coming from people who don’t know us or from ourselves.
- Having initial opportunities to minister based on our command of doctrine; then finding them to fade as the lack of reproof correction transformation and true ministry are evident.
- Plagued with accountability and tools that do not work because we choose people who don’t know us or won’t confront
- Focus on touch-up change and not rebuilding the core, on fixing the NOW rather than healing the past results of our allergy to feedback. (It’s hard enough to admit the current need for growth but harder yet to see how this has hurt our Lord his ministry and others.
- Painting ourselves into a corner where by force of habit we can not hear, retain, and profit from feedback;and through ignoring the feedback or counter attacking or getting angry at anyone who calls our bluff; we are able to arrive at a place that no one confronts us and go back to pretending that this means that we are OK. etc etc etc
This is one case in which it is more blessed to receive than to give. When we are receiving helpful feedback. One thought is that we must not focus on the timing or delivery of the feedback because our best feedback often comes through God from our enemies. Remember when David was being cursed. He said “leave the man alone, God is speaking to me through him”. I had an acquaintance who understood these truths and asked his employees to give him feedback. He figured that he could use a little touch up here and there in his approach to being a boss. At first he got superficial useless feedback, but when he convinced them that God was asking him to do this and that there would not be negative consequences to the employee and that,by the grace of God, he would actually change as a result; he found that they went on and on with details of his need to shape up. He was a bit depressed to find out that HE WAS WORSE THAN HE HAD THOUGHT but he did grow and change. He found out that he was about to lose key employees and probably his company as a result.
SEARCH ME OH GOD AND KNOW MY WAYS AND SEE IF THERE BE ANY WICKED WAY IN ME AND LEAD ME IN YOUR PATHS
(EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO USE FINANCES, HEALTH, FRIENDS, FAMILY, CHURCH, AS WELL AS YOU WORD TO SHOW ME.)