In my first ministry job, I had an office mate. Now this guy was INCREDIBLY BLUNT. He said exactly what he was thinking, all the time, with no flowery words or disclaimers attached. He loved God, he loved people, but he alienated most of them by being so very direct.
I never understood why people got so upset with him. Couldn't they see that he loved God? Couldn't they see that he just wanted the best for them? Didn't they know what scripture said about those who don't listen to criticism?
Anyway, every time Al corrected me, I listened, examined, prayed and, frequently, changed.
One day we were working late and I was telling Al the latest saga of my adventures as a CSDS (Christian Single Desperately Searching).
"Cam, you are so manipulative." He went on to point out how this is sin.
"No," I responded, "I'm not! I'm not at all manipulative." I then went on to explain, in depth, how very UN-manipulative I was.
Nevertheless, I took his words to heart and went home for prayer and self-examination. After MUCH prayer, and MUCH self-examination. I decided that he was really off-target and there was NO TRUTH WHATSOEVER in that particular rebuke.
Twelve years later, I was doing some mindless task at home and reminiscing on my days as a CSDS. Absentmindedly, I found myself thinking, "WOW, I was SO manipulative back then!"
Oh, my goodness. Al was right!
Why hadn't I seen it then?
The answer: I just wasn't ready to.