(Blogger General’s Warning: Long Blog)

The year started with a word I felt God impressed in my heart – SHARPENING.

Then a conversation with Carlos Antonio sparked it even more.

I remember when my firstborn was about 3 or 4 years old, while in church talking to people, Pastor Steve set me aside to talk to me.

“Paolo, you’re a great dad.” (At this point, I whispered ‘uh-oh’ because I knew the sandwich principle was coming.)

“However, there might be some things you don’t see or even tolerate.  What you tolerate, you’ll never change.”

“When your son runs around the main auditorium and don’t control him, you may not notice but others are getting distracted.”

That moment, I understood what he was talking about.  It was tough to hear but as a new dad, I needed to hear it.

Since then, as a parent, leader and pastor, I’ve received numerous ‘feedback’ which now I am thankful for because it has helped me grow along the way.

Three verses come to mind.

1. Iron sharpens iron. (Prov. 27:17)

If we want to stay on the cutting edge of life, there will be friction.  Sparks will fly.  But it will be for the purpose of sharpening.

Once you stop being open to sharpening, that’s when we get dull.  Once that happens, we stop growing.

2. Open rebuke is better than hidden love. (Prov. 27:5)

You’d prefer people tell you upfront than them talk about it behind your back.

Pride is the number 1 enemy of correction.  We immediately dismiss it by saying, “well… I’m not the only one who does it.”  Or worse, we whisper under our breath saying, “I’m sure you’ve done this before too.”

But does that mean the correction is invalid?  By no means.

Pride is definitely a hindrance to receiving correction.  It really goes before a fall.

3. Speak the truth in love. (Eph. 4:15)

While this maybe the manner, it should also be the motivation.

The manner we should bring the ‘sharpening’ is to be with love.  Jesus came full of grace and truth.  Grace first before truth.

It’s not just the manner but also the motivation.  The reason why we give the feedback or correction is because we love the person.  We want that person to not stay the same way but to continue to grow and mature in his faith and in life.

The next time a person comes and gives correction, remember what Proverbs 12:1 says,  “Anyone who loves learning accepts correction,but a person who hates being corrected is stupid.”

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