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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 179: Listening to what you don't want to hear

Today's Reading: 1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18

Ahab said, "There is still one other man we can go to. We can ask the Lord for advice through him. But I hate him. He never prophesies anything good about me. He only prophesies bad things. His name is Micaiah. He's the son of Imlah."

"You shouldn't say bad things about him," Jehoshaphat replied.
1 Kings 22:8

One of the hardest things to do is to listen to the truth when the truth challenges, exhorts or condemns your behavior or you. We all want to hear good news. We all want to be encouraged. We all want to receive praise.

But sometimes the worse news is really the "best" news, the words of truth.

The book of Proverbs declares "The wounds of a friend are faithful." Friends who warn us, who guard our back against our own blind spots, who speak truth to us even when we don't like it, are true friends.

They are also rare friends. They love us enough to risk the friendship for the friend.

Instead of "hating" these people, these prophets, they are the very ones we need to embrace and love. They are rare, brave souls who will stand alone to warn us.

Jehoshaphat is right. We shouldn't ever say anything bad against them.

We should honor them.

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