Summary: Everyone needs someone to speak truth into their life.
June 14, 2015 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Everyone needs someone to speak truth into their life.
Focus Passage: Proverbs 1:5-7
Introduction: Winston Churchill exemplified integrity and respect in the face of opposition. During his last year in office, he attended an official ceremony. Several rows behind him two gentlemen began whispering. "That's Winston Churchill." "They say he is getting senile." "They say he should step aside and leave the running of the nation to more dynamic and capable men." When the ceremony was over, Churchill turned to the men and said, "Gentlemen, they also say he is deaf!" Barbara Hatcher, Vital Speeches, March 1, 1987.
I. Telling the Truth
a. Watch your motives – truth without love and grace is just judgment
b. Pray before you speak to someone; and remember: "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5 NASB)
c. Some folks use truth like a shotgun; shoot it no matter the consequences
d. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
e. If you “just have to say something,” you probably ought to not say anything.
f. Don’t be a spiritual bully. Use your words to correct and heal. If you don’t care how it’s received, then you aren’t the one to speak to that person.
II. Receiving the Truth
a. Most people do not receive the truth well, because people don’t use constructive criticism, but destructive criticism.
b. When one person comes to you to tell you something, use discernment to deal with it. It might just be that one person and they may not have it right. If multiple people tell you the same thing, you better take it to heart.
c. Some people have too much pride to ever be wrong. Proverb 12:15 is for them:
i. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15 NASB)
ii. "Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice." (Proverbs 12:15 GNB)
iii. Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people take advice. (Proverbs 12:15 MSG)
iv. Fools think they know what is best, but a sensible person listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15 CEV)
d. If someone comes to you and tells you the truth with grace and love, don’t get mad at them. They are being used by the Lord to correct something in your life.
e. Even if the truth comes with truth and grace, it is often unpleasant or inconvenient. It doesn’t make it any less true.
Application/Invitation: when we are criticized we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should learn from it, even when it is not given with the right motivation and in the right spirit. The article then offered these four suggestions: (1) Commit the matter instantly to God, asking Him to remove all resentment or counter-criticism on your part and teach you the needed lessons. (2) Remember that we are all great sinners and that the one who has criticized us does not begin to know the worst about us. (3) If you have made a mistake or committed a sin, humbly and frankly confess it to God and to anyone you may have injured. (4) Be willing to learn afresh that you are not infallible and that you need God's grace and wisdom every moment of the day to keep on the straight path.
When we are criticized, let's accept what is true and act upon it, thereby becoming a stronger person. He who profits from rebuke is wise. H.G.B. [http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/c/criticism.htm]
[The audio of this sermon being preached can be accessed at http://rboyne.sermon.net/main/main/20421430]