Nobody likes to open up to their weaknesses, vulnerabilities and insecurities. Mind you, I did just that. I accidentally let slip of an inner issue of self-confidence.

I’m not a Billy Graham of audible confidence, but I humbly give thanks for possessing other qualities that Mr Graham may not have. It’s these personal qualities that define our uniqueness in God’s Creation. We are uniquely created in the image of Christ. In fact, if one was to invest time and money in getting to know me, it wouldn’t take long to learn of my given quiet and mild introvert nature.

And just for the record, I do not feel shameful (or boastful) for being quiet either. Ironically, I’ve found it’s those qualities that extroverts can find of a struggle, especially in pastoral minister.

However, to my amazement as I let lip of my self-confidence to a sister in Christ, I was gently rebuked, as my outward qualities and flaws do not matter. What matters is that Christ lives in me, and I am who I am – a child of God.

I admit, I was smitten by the honest exchange, which not only silenced my lips to reveal a smile, but I thanked her for her honesty.

There is no shame of our flaws and weaknesses. Yes, we are to imitate Christ, but we will never become perfect in the present days on earth. That’s why Jesus is LORD. Not only did He come as an example to live by, but also His penultimate purpose was to save us from our sins, and to redeem us from eternal death (John 3:16). It’s healthy to share our insecurities and vulnerabilities with trusted individuals and to a circle of cell group fellowship, but when a rebuke comes your way – they are two ways of responding.

We can respond negatively and think the person we’re speaking to is rude, or being insensitive. In some occasions, that may well be the case. Other times, we need to be reminded to accept the facts – that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and we simply need time to mature in ourselves and build ourselves up in Christian fellowship with others. Sometimes, we need to fall, so that we can learn to pick ourselves back up again. There is however, room for improvement and time to grow. Some take longer to mature and grow than others, a bit like the different types of plantation from plants to trees.

On the flip side of the coin, we can respond positively and be thankful for the person’s honesty. It might seem strange (or unforgivable) to praise blunt feedback that rings true with one’s heart. It seems rare in today’s age to not hear honest feedback, due to the political correctness of today’s society and the sensitive nature of people’s issues. Often is the case, when we share with brothers and sisters in Christ – honesty can be used to build up God’s Kingdom – His Church and His people.

Not only are we called to be faithful servants of the LORD, often revealing God’s truth from Scripture, but God’s nature, which radiates with His indescribable love can be communicated through words of honesty. It also reveals a new level of humility within us, and I personally believe we need to learn meekness and humility in our lives.

~Richard