This week’s homily

By the Rev. Thomas M. Boles PhD., DMin., D.D.

The story is told of two Christian men who once had a “falling out.”

One heard a rumor that the other was speaking against him, so he

went to him and said, “Will you be kind enough to tell my faults to

my face, that I may profit by your Christian candor and try to get rid

of them?”

The other man replied, “Yes, I will.”

They then went aside from the crowd and the first man said, “Before

you commence telling what you think wrong in me, will you kneel

with me and pray, that my eyes may be opened to see my faults as

you cite them? You lead in prayer.”

The second man prayed that God would open the eyes of his friend

and when he was finished, the first man said, “Now, please proceed

with your complaints.”

The second man said, “After praying over it, it looks so little that it

is not worth talking about. The truth is I have been serving the devil

myself, and have need that you pray for me, and forgive me the

wrong I have done you.”

The things are admirable: to speak the truth to another person with

love, and with love to seek the truth from one who will be honest with

you. In speaking the truth, we often hear the very truth we need to hear,

from our own lips. In seeking the truth, we often gain a friend.

The trouble with most of us is that

we would rather be ruined by praise

than saved by criticism.

If you profit from constructive criticism you will

be elected to the wise men’s hall of fame. But to

reject criticism is to harm yourself and your own

best interests.

Proverbs 15:31,32

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