Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Faithful Wounds of Fellowship

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. -- Proverbs 27:6

The other night I had the blessing of such a wounding from the sharp but loving rebuke of a sister in Christ who helped expose to the light a sinful attitude I was harboring in my heart.

This sister is laid up in bed recovering from foot surgery and we had spent a while in prayer and in reading and studying Scripture that evening. Remarking on the lateness of the hour I mentioned how I had to get up early the next morning for a prayer meeting with an older gentleman from church. But in doing so, I kinda joked around about how I'd been in the habit of showing up about 15 minutes late for these sessions two weeks in a row.

It was then that this sister lit into me with a sharp but encouraging rebuke about my cavalier attitude, how lightly I was taking the friendship and fellowship of my brother in Christ and how lightly I was taking this time of coming before the Lord in prayer. Simply put I was not according this prayer time the due diligence on my part it deserved in terms of disciplining myself to stop slamming down the snooze button in the morning and to get up early, get a move on, and show up on time.

At first I protested this sister's rebuke, only to realize the flimsiness of my excuses, the cavalier attitude I had left unchecked, albeit unintended, towards this time of prayer, and my responsibility to repent and take action to address my sinful attitudes.

I did, and I'm delighted to say that I showed up on time, 7:30 a.m. on the dot this Wednesday for prayer, all because of the "faithful wounds" of a friend.

Thank God for the fellowship of the saints and the faithfulness of my sister in Christ to call me on the carpet for my sinful attitude. I hope to avoid the need for such faithful wounds in the future, but I can be arrogant and stubborn in many things and I trust that I'll need them from time to time as the Lord sees fit to ordain for His glory and my good.

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