“Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the Lord and enter His sanctuary which He has consecrated forever” (2 Chronicles 30:8). The stiffening the neck is a resistance to change. The above statement was made because a rebuke was being given and the risk was that those receiving the rebuke would not be receptive. Resisting God was often a problem, because people do not want to change. Stephen lamented that, “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did” (Acts 7:51). Why are we so resistant?
I find that we are resistant to most change, especially if it indicates that our belief or behavior was wrong. I’ve often wondered about this. People talk and teach about how to correctly confront and even how to handle those who are criticizing you unjustly, but I don’t hear anyone teaching how to receive correction or confrontation. What is my responsibility when I am confronted?
It is obvious with the above verses and if we are honest with Scripture, we are at least supposed to be open to God correcting us. Also, the fact that we are told to confront other believers leads us to draw the logical conclusion that we must be open to other people confronting us (Matthew 18:15-17; 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2; Titus 1:7-9; 2 John 10-11). Consider also that all the epistles are loaded with the apostles, people just like us, confronting others.
So then, how do we properly receive correction? People often point out things like “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Also, we should use “gentleness [in] correcting those who are in opposition” (2 Timothy 2:25). However, these verses do not really deal with our subject. They explain how to give out confrontation, but not how to receive it. Try to bring up this topic and you will find that people try to turn the conversation into how to give correction. They might also mention that it is better just to show people how to live instead of pointing it out verbally. Why is this?
I think it is because people are trying to make it difficult to even experience confrontation. Some seem to think that unless the confrontation is dealt out perfectly, then we do not even have to consider it. However, when we are given instructions or indications on how to handle confrontation, we aren’t told to resist it if it doesn’t come in a perfect form. We are told to “not stiffen [our] neck.” We are expected to evaluate weather or not the confrontation is based on biblical truth (2 Corinthians 10:5-6; 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2; James 1:22-25; 1 John 4:1-3), but once we determine that it is we must embrace the correction.
If the confrontation is based on biblical truth then we must adhere. Even, if someone calls us all kinds of names, yells at us, and shows absolute hatred for us but what they point out is biblical, then we should still change. We may now be obligated to confront them on their manner of carrying out the confrontation, but we should not resist the truth. If it is true, then it must be separated from the manner in which it was carried out. We need stop trying to find reasons why we can reject confrontation and start accepting it. Without accepting confrontation, we are missing out on potential growth. “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).
Welcome to Cleansing Word Ministries! My goal is to help you grow in your faith and develop a biblical perspective of the world. The site contains a number of tools to use for growth. The front-page articles will be updated quarterly and I will add to the other sections, as I am able. If there are ever any questions about the site, please email me at email@example.com. I would love to know where this site is reaching, so if you would email me your city and state, it would be much appreciated. You can help in our purpose by telling your friends, as well as pastors about this ministry. I hope you enjoy the site.
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Effective Christianity Class
Have you ever had your faith challenged and not known how to answer. Are there times in your journey with Christ that you struggle to know what you are to do? Do you ever wonder if there is more to following Christ than attending church on Sunday's, reading your Bible, and praying. All these things are important, but isn't there more. Please join us. We will be meeting Thursday, April 8th at 7PM. Please click here for directions.