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Becoming Authentic (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 8 of 10
I've observed over the years of being a Christian that many people get offended the moment you give them any feedback that isn't telling them they're a wonderful person: you're wonderful, you're beautiful, you're magnificent! You're beautiful beyond description, too marvellous for words. People like that one, but actually you say listen, I didn't like that, that attitude was bad and it's really quite negative. Oh, who do you think you are! [unclear 00.30.38] get like this, get all offended all of a sudden. Well that person's a fool because the Bible says the person who can't be corrected or won't receive or welcome correction in their life, that person despises their own soul. They're destroying themselves. They're missing out on the opportunity - so when did someone last speak into your life? Feedback would need to be specific; hey there's this behaviour, this action, this attitude, this is what I noticed.

It needs to be in a way that you can actually make a decision to change, so you've got to respond to it by not being defensive. When God confronted King Saul he said I've sinned, but look I want it to look good in front of the people so can you come on out and just make it all look good? See, he's still trying to cover up. When David was confronted, you've sinned, he said I've sinned against the Lord! - immediately repentant. He was not defensive like Saul was. Saul was very, very defensive, raised a wall, you couldn't talk into his life, you couldn't say anything. So when was the last time someone gave you a little bit of negative feedback or talked to you about something you needed to change? How did you react? Did you walk out of that ministry, walk out of that church, walk away from that person, walk out of that thing because you were offended? Or did you be like a wise man, welcome correction?

Now here's the thing. If the Holy Spirit is a teacher and brings us into truth and He speaks to us internally, He also speaks externally. Now if I will adopt the position and an attitude I welcome feedback and welcome the input; now the feedback you want is mostly from the people who are near to you, someone you rely on because they know you, love you, got a vested interest in you. Others have got all kinds of attitudes, but in all feedback there's something you can often get help from. It's just a matter of actually getting your attitude right. I had some strange person or a stranger, a person I didn't know sent me an unpleasant email and I looked at it. Initially my first thought was [dread 00.32.28] and I thought I wonder why I'm reacting? Stop and have a think about it - I think actually what's going on in this person's life? Oh, I can see what's going on. I can actually do something to help them, so I'll make a response that will help them. Understand? Otherwise you just live life at the surface and it's very ineffective.

Then finally you need to commit to the process of change. You must commit to the process of change. You want to grow and change you have to commit to growing. How many people are beginning, you just said oh God, I want to grow, I want to change, I want to really grow? That's it, a few people did. I think most of us did. When you come into next year, the beginning of the year, oh! I want to change! Okay, so Jesus always requires us to get some ownership [of this thing 00.33.08] so in the man Bethesda, Jesus said to him do you want to be made whole? Do you want to change or are you happy to keep doing the same stuff you're doing this year? I think no way, I've got to change, I've got to grow, got to get bigger. Come on, think about that. Do you want to change? Unless you say yes to that you're going to stay the same - maybe have a few crises on the way. [Laughs]

Okay, do you want to change, number one, you must want to change; number two, you invest in relationships that encourage growth. Invest in relationships that will help you to grow. In other words none of us grow too well on our own. You get a bit bizarre on your own, get a bit weird. You need other people around you to talk to you and so no matter how spiritual you are you always need someone near you to talk to you and tell you some truth. Sometimes it'll be your wife. Often it is, [second Holy 00.34.05] Spirit you know? They can see things you don't see and if you welcome that input and feedback you could change a lot. I know I have over the years, changed a lot. I had to wake up my ideas on a whole number of things, see? So you have to have relationships.