Study: Reflect on a time when someone told you a truth that you did not want to hear. What caused you to want to resist?
Pray: Are there any tough decisions or actions facing you right now? Ask the Lord for guidance, courage, and strength.
Serve: Is there someone in your life who needs to hear an important message? How can you help them receive it?
Have you ever been angry because someone told you what you needed to hear when you didn’t want to hear it? Who wants to be told they’re wrong, that something needs to change, that they have work to do? In our best moments we can accept constructive criticism with a tentative openness, but if we are vulnerable, defensive, doubtful, or in any sort of tough spot – we often will dig our heels in and resist.
Perhaps it’s just plain human nature – our free will comes with a liberty to choose any number of possibilities. Sometimes, however, we simply do not choose what is best…
This is the situation which confronts Ezekiel and Jesus in the Scriptures today. Sent to proclaim a message, they both encounter resistance. Ezekiel is told by God that the people will not want to hear him; Jesus is rejected by the community that knows his extended family. While both will fulfill their mission, the response of those addressed remains one of resistance.
Sound familiar? Consider the times in life when you’ve resisted a message. What was the issue? Ego? A relationship? Personal pride? Control? Sometimes the best thing we can do is discover what are the obstacles that keep us from the goodness of God.
Here’s a simple test: when was the last time you turned away from something important? What held you back? What was the road block that kept you from joy? Remember, the Lord longs to fill us with love; our job is to be open and receptive to what needs to be heard.
Maybe today we haul the obstacle out of the way…so God’s grace can transform and renew our hearts.