The Importance Of Having A Prophet In Your Life

I had a pastor friend many years ago, who asked me if we could work together to improve our preaching. He offered to listen to my sermons and offer critique if I would do the same with him.  

I soon discovered, however, that my friend had no real desire to hear anything negative about his preaching, but was pretty keen on critiquing mine. After a few weeks, I pointed this out, and after that it didn't take long for my friend to stop asking to meet altogether.

In Shakespeare's Pericles the title character decides not to reveal what he knows about King Antiochus of Antioch, because what he knows would prove embarrassing to the king. When asked to explain why he prefers to keep silent, Pericles says, "Few love to hear the sins they love to act."  

We all love to offer constructive criticism, but we rarely love to receive it.

I think everyone needs to have someone prophetic in the their life--that one person who is unafraid to tell us like it is, even if it means risking the relationship.  If you have someone in your life who is willing to risk it all to tell you the truth, that's a relationship to cherish. 

In 2 Samuel 12:7, the prophet Nathan confronts the great king David with the truth about himself.  He was an adulterer and a murderer.  David had an affair with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his most capable military leaders, Uriah.  When Bathsheba becomes pregnant, David eventually has Uriah killed so he could marry her, and cover it all up.  

At the risk of his own life, Nathan proclaims the truth to David--the truth that so many people undoubtedly already knew but were afraid to share.  As a result, David was forced to come face-to-face with the darkness within him, and to repent.  It cost him, but his relationship with God was restored as a result.  

It's widely believed that David wrote Psalm 51 after his encounter with Nathan.  When you read these lines, you see why he was called "A man after God's own heart:"  

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

May you have a willing and open heart toward those who speak truth into your life.  May you be guided by their prophetic wisdom.  May you repent where you need to repent, forgive where you need to forgive and may you discover a renewed spirit of joy within you as a result.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 



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