So, Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” – 1 Kings 18:16-17
Ahab was the evil king of Israel during the service of God’s prophet, Elijah. Though he was one of the kings most responsible for Israel’s slide into wickedness and destruction, Ahab preferred to blame Elijah rather than accept any personal responsibility for his troubles.
This story reminds us that it is much easier to deflect responsibility for the destructive consequences of wrong actions, than to repent of those actions and truly change. Whether we are the one in need of repentance or just the person “blessed” with the responsibility to point it out in another, we should understand that the path is a perilous one.
At some time or another you will probably be in a position to serve as a messenger of truth to someone who needs to hear it (if you like this role, you just might be a “Pharisee,” but that’s another post). Understand something, people don’t usually want to hear the truth, at least when it involves change! We like to be affirmed, even when we’re heading in the wrong direction.
Nevertheless, speak the truth even if it is rejected, but be sure to do it in love. Receive the truth even when you want to reject it, because God is truth as well as love.
There is nothing so agonizing to the fine skin of vanity as the application of a rough truth. – Robert Bulwer-Lytton
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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