Please tell me if this makes sense. A glutton calls out a greedy person and says, “Man you’re too greedy.” So the greedy guy says, “Well you’re gluttonous, so you can’t tell me nothing.”
Except this doesn’t change the fact that the greedy guy is greedy, and the glutton was really trying to help.
You’ve seen this everywhere. A friend tells a single mom that maybe she needs to learn how to discipline her kids, and the single mom says, “You wait until you have kids.” In the meantime, the kids are punching cops and eating heroin and kicking baby strollers.
If you shoot the messenger, the bullet goes both ways.
We all know the guy who is Super-Offended At Everything. You tell him the truth about himself and he melts down or explodes or throws things or cries instantly or defends himself to death or holds a grudge against the friend who dared to say it like it really is: then Super-Offended-Man (the worst superhero name ever) hides under a mirror and says, “Well what about you!” Everyone hates this guy. His skin is paperthin ice and egg shells. That whole thing is not cute and it doesn’t work. The few remaining friends who find it worth their time to talk to him would rather manicure their gums with sandpaper.
No one can be let off the hook that easily. The Mirror-Defense only works so long until you cut off yourself from the world, or you can start a franchise of new friends every month. In plain terms, we call that circling the drain.
This does not mean that we don’t love the easily offended. It does not mean we can be insensitive. What it does mean is that any real friendship must be built on telling the total truth with the motive of love, because love without truth is hypocrisy.
I was one of these over-sensitive people (and still can be), so I’m talking to myself too. I understand how hard it is, regardless of how “hard” you are, to hear the truth about you. If you are ridiculously attractive, it’s possible that everyone has been your butler your whole life. That led to entitlement, when you think you deserve anything you want at all times, just because. The same is true if you grew up in money and luxury and fame. Think of every Hollywood pansy who can’t take criticism and fires off on their Twitter. Not so attractive then.
So “rebuke” is a foreign concept to you since it deprives you of comfort, and no one has ever said a contrary word to you in fear they might lose your approval. You were able to bat your eyes and twist your hips and get your way. Even me saying this is already provoking you with the natural reflex of preprogrammed defenses, which proves my point. None of that is your fault: your face only aggravated our natural human condition to be so easily insulted. So hearing the truth for you isn’t like a needle; it’s a sword through your soul.
We all sort of suck at handling rebuke, but we desperately need it. Not Sin-Police or Doctrine-Nazis, but a rebuke out of love from beginning to end, where every motive is to build up and move forward.
Former atheist/agnostic, now a pastor and professional rambler. Have a B.A. in Psychology and M.Div from SEBTS. Both degrees negate each other, i.e. I'm still a dummy. Have a fifth degree black belt and I can eat five lbs. of steak in one sitting. A recovered porn addict, skeptical Christian, loves Jesus. I gave away half my salary in 2012 to fight human trafficking, and you can help. Have a mixed German shepherd named Rosco, have two toenails growing out of one toe, and I'm addicted to coffee, ginger ale, and tomato juice.
Christ Is King.