If I have any intention of growing in God, I need to hear the “but”…

This quote struck me when I read it recently. Usually we cringe when someone tells us something then adds the “but…”. What begins as good news quickly becomes the bad. A compliment moves into a criticism. While it may make us cringe a bit, this statement is not only helpful, it’s also Scriptural.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction, for righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:5-6

Notice in the 2 Timothy passage how the purposes of Scripture (reproof, correction, instruction, righteousness) are for the man of God, or the woman of God, to be complete. If we hear only the positives, the happy thoughts, we would be incomplete. The same is true, of course, if we heard only criticisms or corrections.

Are you growing in God?

Is this something you desire?

We can’t be ambivalent about this growth—Jesus tells His disciples, as they walked along a vineyard, that any branch in Him that does not bear fruit will be taken away by Him. Any branch that is growing, or bearing fruit, will be pruned so that it will bear more fruit. (John 15) Growth is important to Jesus. We must not be satisfied with merely escaping the fire of hell by agreeing that Jesus is a good Savior. We must surrender utterly to His Lordship. Once saved, we are then conformed more and more into the image of God’s perfect Son…this includes serious pruning…

and conversations that include the word but…

“But” humbles me. “But” reminds me that God isn’t finished with me yet. “But” causes me to confess and repent and depend fully on God, my everything. As we seek to look more like Jesus this year, this means growth must happen. Let us humble ourselves and hear the “but”…

Love, Wendy

Wendy Foulke

Author Wendy Foulke

Wendy is married to Dave and they have three sons, two daughters-in-law, and a daughter. The Foulke family has attended Christ the Word since moving to Toledo in 2007. Wendy serves as director of Women of the Word ministries and blogs at reflect-i.com. She enjoys reading and traveling. Her favorite places to visit are the United Kingdom and Montana, and she one day hopes to visit Iceland!

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