I visited the beautiful town of Devonport, today. It rests at the end of a peninsula on Auckland’s North, and at the foot of Mount Victoria. Devonport is a short ferry trip away from Downtown Auckland, which spreads across the opposite shore of the Waitamata Harbour. It has quaint shops, cafes, a rather expensive looking Public Library, it is home to our modest naval base, has very expensive houses, and generous, but strict, parking laws.
But my visit today reminded me that nothing is perfect. It was the weather that stole some of Devonport’s charm. The sun just couldn’t get through the clouds and the wind made it too cold to be outside.
This scene reminded me of some people we know: Accessible, charming, hospitable, generous and organised, but on a bad day…? Hard to be around.
Of course, since we know these people well, we overlook any bad in light of the vast amount of the good within.
But it is those bad days, if unchecked, that can taint the image of that otherwise ideal soul. Thus, it is wisdom to point out the effects of those less-than-ideal-moments; those potential stumbling blocks that hide in the strangest of attitudes and habits.
Naturally, I am not suggesting that we make a habit of pointing out each other’s shortcomings. I am rather thinking in terms of the way we come across when we are not being our best.
Our spiritual friendship must be strong enough to be able to improve each other. Brothers and sisters must grow close enough to thank each other for much needed correction. Otherwise, we develop patterns of communication that weaken our influence for Christ.
“Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise” (Proverbs 15:31).