Honesty > Flattery
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Ecclesiastes 7:5, Proverbs 27:5–27:6, Proverbs 28:23, Psalm 139:23–139:24
Better: 4 wise choices for a better life
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The word "better” appears in Scripture well over 100 times and most of what’s labelled as “better” has to do with the choices we make that determine the direction for our lives. So this series is about finding and following God's better wisdom.
Our Previous Better Choices
Reputation > Riches
Service > Status
Poise > Power
Our LIFE Model
Jesus came, and died, and rose again so that we could enter into LIFE and experience that LIFE to its fullest. It starts with our LIFE with Jesus—what it means to know Him personally as our Savior and then follow Him more fully as our Lord. But then our LIFE with Jesus should spill over into our LIFE with People both within the church and beyond.
That includes the way we talk and the words we use. As we look around at our world right now, there's never been a time when the volume of our words has been so high, yet the value of our words has been so low. Plus the venom in our words has been as poisonous as ever.
While this might be understandable with faithless people who are angry and fearful at their core, it is absolutely unacceptable for those of us have LIFE with Jesus. Whether it’s in person or online, what we say matters. We need to be the kind of church that uses our words wisely and uses our words well, instead of recklessly, deceptively, and destructively.
So today, God’s wisdom is going to get us to think about our words differently—what we say, what we hear, what we want, and what we need.
Ecclesiastes 7:5 NIV
5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise personthan to listen to the song of fools.
Proverbs 27:5-6 NIV
5 Better is open rebukethan hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Proverbs 28:23 NIV
23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favorrather than one who has a flattering tongue.
Honesty > Flattery
Honest rebuke = true words spoken strongly for my good
Flattery = deceptive words spoken sweetly for my harm
A rebuke might hurt us in the moment, but flattery will harm us in the end.
1. Do you have someone in your life who cares enough about you to shoot straight with you?
2. If you do, are you open to hearing what they have to say to you?
A rebuke requires a relationship.
That’s step number one. If you don’t have the relationship, then just back off. Unfortunately, this is where Christians seem to be getting it wrong these days--we’re using our strongest words with people we don’t know at all, while we’re saving our softest words (or even our silence) for the people we know the best. When we keep on getting it backwards like that, we just wind up inflaming the culture and injuring the church.
Giving a Rebuke
(1) Examine your life and motives first
(2) Pause, pray, prepare, then proceed
(3) Stick around for their restoration
Receiving a Rebuke
(1) Believe the best in your friend
(2) Respond don't retaliate
(3) Seek God and be open to their help
Psalms 139:23-24 NIV
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,and lead me in the way everlasting.
The Blessing of a Loving Rebuke
What if we spoke our strongest words in love rather than anger?
What if those words were for our closest friends rather than our “enemies”?
Imagine how transformational and counter-cultural that would be for the church, where as Christians we’re calling each other to something different and something better. Because when we do LIFE with People well in the church with the words we use, it will catalyze our LIFE with Jesus and transform our world.
Giving at Hopevale
Visit our giving page to learn more about giving to the Lord at Hopevale, including how you can begin to give online along with information about our mobile giving platform that is easy to use and highly secure. To start, just text "Hopevale" (Saginaw) or "HopevaleBC" (Bay City) to 77977.
GroupLife at Hopevale
Visit here to find out about how you can connect with others here at Hopevale. Learn more about all the different kinds of groups available to you. Explore our "find a group" page (what's offered, where they meet, when they meet) to find the one that best fits you.