19 January 2011

Honesty and Encouragement

Finally, I have come back to the habit of reading the bible in the morning, with my coffee - yeah, the coffee is essential! The coffee wakes me up, the bible gets me ready to face the day...

So I read some chapters from the book of Proverbs this morning. It's a good book. Really. But what hit me the most was how often it talked about correcting someone, in a nice way, in a Godly way. Because we Germans have to do things right, the correct way. And positive criticism is suppose to be encouraging. God is not asking you to be mean and discouraging at all. So here are the verses that I liked:

Proverbs 27:5 "Better to correct someone openly than to let him think you don't care for him at all."

Proverbs 27:6 "Friends mean well, even when they hurt you. But when an enemy puts his arm around your shoulder - watch out!"

Proverbs 27:17 "People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron." 

Proverbs 28:18 "Be honest and you will be safe. If you are dishonest, you will suddenly fall." 

Proverbs 28:23 "Correct someone, and afterwards he will appreciate it more than flattery."

So when foreigners come to my home-country, we have to constantly correct their mistakes in learning our language - a language that is not easy to learn in the first place! So cut them a break! For me, that always seemed so unnecessary and definitely discouraging. When I was a foreigner myself, in France, I have to say, they did correct my mistakes over there; not always, but the big ones, yes, totally! And as an eager learner, I appreciated that. It helped me.

Then I came to America, and my, was I in for a surprise. One is suppose to be 'nice' and it is considered impolite behavior to correct someone - at least that was my perception here. Being still an eager learner, I asked my friends to, please, correct my mistakes - I mean, how else am I gonna learn it, right? Surprisingly, or maybe I just had good friends, they listened and I was able to ameliorate my English, a little bit!?!

So listen to God and please, correct my 'bad' English!!!

Isn't it rather nice to know that some people do care in our life and do the right thing to correct us. That goes for any kind of behavior, not just the language thing. I rather have someone point out to me that what I did was wrong, in person, openly, than behind my back, 'bitching' about me.... at least that's my thinking!
I also want to hear when I am doing things right.

But I found this saying:"Being honest is more than NOT laying." Wow. It also requires our understanding that the words coming out of our mouth might hurt someone. So we should put those words in a thoughtful and meaningful way, a way that it is beneficial and profitable to the recipient. Don't speak before you think about it. And I know, I am guilty in that way myself - I didn't say I was perfect. But I sure can try. This is an encouragement for all of us. And if hurtful words were spoken, that's were forgiveness comes in, and friends do forgive each other.


C. Beth said...

It's hard for me to be that open and honest but I'm glad you're my friend and can encourage me to do so. :)

TiffanyAnn said...

You're so funny! I love this post. That last proverbs you have listed is such a good one! I remember when you told me about wishing people would correct your English more....I rarely hear anything that off. I can tell in your writing, but I like that, it makes you unique. It always amazes me when people are so fluent in other languages, so you're already my hero in that! Thanks, though for reminding me to be more bold and not always shy away from confrontation!

Desiray said...

The book of proverbs really is an amazing book it gives wisdom and that is what Proverbs really is. I know when I read it and when I still read it I am just amazed at how the things I thought I should speak was so wrong and how I approached them was wrong as well. Now I see how I am to approach them. But that is what happens to a child of God who decided that they will follow Christ teaches instead of what they thought they knew to be right

C. Beth said...

I love the last paragraph you added--sums it up in a very balanced way.