In my last post I spoke about the "meeking" process that we all undergo at some point or another. It's important to note that these fiery darts are aimed at the ego, not the true self. In my posts The Finger of God and A Firm Foundation for Healing I wrote about the need for healing of your innermost being, the shucking of negative labels off your back, because these false labels interfere with your mission in life. We need to be able to differentiate between the blows of satan aimed at destroying our true self and the fiery darts allowed by God that are helpful to us in recognizing certain patterns of sin in our lives.
Sometimes, when we are resistant to seeing these sin patterns and the flaws within ourselves God will speak through others. This is so that we'll become aware of the area that God would like us to focus on - an area that He is usually working on also. For example: if a number of friends or family members suggest that your thinking process may be a stumbling block in your life...then it's a very good possibility that this may very well be the case. Or if you have a tendency to overreact and everyone around you seems to point this out quite often then, hey, it's likely they just might be onto something.
Over the years, I've noticed that a big issue of mine seems to be with my thought life. After working on it for many years I thought I was doing a very good job in this area but I was overlooking the more subtle poisonous thoughts that can creep into our minds and go unnoticed by us if we don't stay alert. I bought into the lie that we can't control our thoughts. We may not be able to choose exactly what thoughts go (because we also have to deal with the spiritual realm in this area) into our minds but we can certainly have a choice in deciding what we want to dwell on. We can also be aware of just what we are feeding our minds. The more trash you put in there... the more trash is likely to come out. If you feed it poison, that poison is going to seep out somewhere, some way.
An issue I struggle with is passivity. God has called me on this a number of times, as have others. Some folks are under-reactors not over-reactors. Both these extremes can be problematic but, whereas overreacting is obvious, the effects of underreacting are much more insidious. The problem with passivity is that it can look so good on the surface but it can keep you from taking direct action to solve a problem. To my own mind I considered it "surrendering things to God". Sad, yes. Truth was, I often felt overwhelmed and refused to take the steps necessary to fix a problem. It's something I still battle with. And it bears no resemblance to true surrender. God is an active God.
And I probably never would have noticed if God didn't use many (many, many...lol) others to point this out over the years. So, though I was not grateful for the correction at first, in the long run it has been very helpful. At least now, I am aware of it and can take measures when I notice it coming into play. I think I've written about this before here (and, my apologies, you'll no doubt see more about this subject because I often see this trait at work in our world and its fruit can be devastating...both to individuals and nations).
Human nature has a tendency to resist correction, especially if it's worded badly. It's much better when it comes from a trusted friend or family member but this isn't always the case. At times it comes from the least expected place, like out of the mouth of your friend's child or maybe a co-worker. The point is: when we hear the same thing over and over it may be a good idea to pay attention to what others are saying.
Without question, there are also times when we should not listen to what others are saying. When an accusation is leveled at the very being of a person we should toss it right out. We need to be able to discern the difference between the two. Telling someone that they are stupid or unlovable attacks the being of the person not the actions of the person.
One tears down a person while the other is aimed at a behavior - this makes it easier to discern between the two.
(You can see the "meeking" process at work in the combox of blogs at times. Every time I see this at work I can't figure out why the other person isn't "getting" it, especially when it's obvious... and then I remember how long it takes me to "get" it, even when it's obvious to others, and I understand :-)