Do you appreciate others speaking bluntly to you?
Do you embrace relationships with those who tell it like it is?
Direct, to-the-point, no fluff criticism, feedback or advice can come from people like our supervisor at work, friends, a mentor or spouse.
While our tendency may be to gravitate toward people who fill us with positivity and affirmation, we benefit from Christ followers who are willing to speak with candor about our actions that are out-of-step with Jesus.
In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul gives several succinct, direct rebukes that leave no doubt as to what he wants to communicate.
"So stop telling lies” (v. 25).
"If you are a thief, quit stealing” (v. 28).
"Don’t use foul or abusive language” (v. 29).
Paul speaks directly because he cares for the people he’s writing to.
He says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (v. 31-32).
How did you react the last time you received straightforward, corrective words from someone who cares about you?
We can push back and dismiss their observations. Or, we can take the humbling approach by examining our lifestyle and taking corrective action.
Perhaps, people who care about you have been telling you, “stop.” Those around you might see a destructive behavior and are urging you, “quit.” Maybe you’re loved ones are saying, “don’t.”
Allow people who love God to challenge you to be better. Ask a fellow Christian to hold you accountable. Your Heavenly Father may be speaking to you through others He has placed in your life.