Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.

I heard an interview in which someone was honest enough to say, ‘When you’re frightened you can stop listening, because you’re afraid of what you might hear if you do listen.’ She admitted that this had been her story for a number of years, until she finally faced reality.

There are times when people need to be made to face the facts. I’ve heard it said that ‘facts are your friends.’ The problem is they don’t always wear a friendly face. But we need those around us who are honest enough to tell us the truth in love (and note that Jethro spoke out of loving concern for Moses and the whole Israelite community, v18). He wanted to be constructively helpful.

It takes courage, grace and skill to deliver a rebuke well. It also takes a whole lot of humility to listen, sift what is said, and make necessary adjustments. I remember Gordon Macdonald saying that even in the most unjust criticism there will be something we can learn; something to be taken away.

As a friend of mine has often said, ‘We impoverish ourselves if we refuse feedback.’

“An open rebuke is better than hidden love!

Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy”

(Prov.27:5,6 New Living Translation).

PRAYER: Lord, give me courage (and wisdom) to point out what is wrong when it is necessary; and give me the humility to be told I’m in the wrong when I am. Even when I’m not, may I be so teachable that I learn from the rebuke.