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Lord, Show Me The Worst Of Myself That I Might Change
"A good man is willing to know the worst of himself, and particularly, under affliction, desires to be told wherefore God contends with him and what God designs in correcting him." - Matthew Henry
"When we are chastened we must pray to be taught, and look into the law as the best expositor of providence. It is not the chastening itself that does good, but the teaching that goes along with it and is the exposition of it."
- Matthew Henry
In Job 34:31-32, Elihu said to Job - "Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more."
Matthew Henry - the renowned Bible commentator - mentions - "a good man."
What does he say about him?
He says that he "is willing to know the worst of himself."
Just how many "good men" or "good women" do we have in our world today?
How many Born-Again Christians are "willing to know the worst of themselves"?
Pastor Henry also mentions that the "good man" - or saint of God - wants to know - while undergoing discipline - exactly why God is contending with him and what He desires to accomplish through the practice.
This insight can only be derived at by "praying to be taught." The entire process will be meaningless and unprofitable if there is no lesson obtained from it in the end.
How about you, O Reader?
Are you presently undergoing chastisement from the Lord?
Do you feel as though you and God are in a wrestling match and don't know why?
Or perhaps you feel as though you are in the "wood shed"(place of correction) receiving the "spanking" of your life.
How are you reacting to it all?
Are you open to hear what He has to say about the whole matter?
Are you willing to receive correction - no matter how straightforward it may be?
Are you "willing to know the worst of yourself" - to have Him reveal the true condition of your character and heart?
Lastly, are you teachable - praying to be taught where you went wrong?
There is a certain posture that we must assume when we are undergoing chastisement from the Lord. There is a specific language - timely words - to be spoken before Him. The worst we could do is murmur, complain, or justify ourselves. The fitting thing to do is to humble ourselves under His Mighty Hand - be cooperative with His Spirit - and receive the correction that is necessary for us to change our ways.
Let's examine more closely our text for today to see what the Holy Spirit has to say to us as the children of God -
1. Appropriate Language While Under Affliction
Job 34:31 says - "Surely it is meet to be said unto God..."
While undergoing punishment for wrongdoing in our lives, there are fitting words to use when approaching the Lord. Murmuring or complaining is "out of the question." Also, it is definitely "out of character" to draw near to Him with an argument saying that we have "borne chastisement" yet have not sinned or done anything to deserve such treatment. We must never accuse Him of injustice or partiality nor attempt to cloak our offenses
It's best to pursue after God with a humble confession on our lips and a total resignation of our wills to His will - knowing that He is righteous, has good reasons for His dealings, and has every right to inflict chastisement whenever we err from the path of duty.
2. Proof That You Are Guilty
Job 34:31 says - "Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement..."
The very fact that God is punishing you is proof that you did something wrong. Parents do not spank their children for nothing!
Understand that if you are experiencing Divine Discipline at the present moment, you have sinned...you are guilty of some kind of wrongdoing... and you need to accept the punishment for your sin - graciously bear it as well as acknowledge God's goodness in it.
3. A Resolution To Reform Your Life
Job 34:31 says - "Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more."
This confession - "I will not offend any more" - I will sin no more or do no more so corruptly - is what God is after in the process. He is desiring a total transformation in our lives whereby the offensive act that we once performed is now regarded as something despicable and hence is totally eradicated from our lives.
4. A Desire To Be Taught Your Errors
Job 34:31-32 says - "Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: That which I see not teach thou me..."
This step in the process is very crucial for - without it - the lesson is not learned and the individual most likely will fall back into the same trap of evildoing as before.
While undergoing punishment for our sin, we must maintain a teachable spirit. Our attitude must be - Lord, teach me what I do not know...open my eyes to what I cannot see...discover my sins to me and the deceitfulness of my own heart...make it plain and clear where I have strayed from the path of righteousness.
5. A Quick Decision To Stop All Sinful Or Offensive Behavior
Job 34:31-32 says - "Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more."
After desiring to be taught, the individual readily attests - "...if I have done iniquity, I will do no more."
In other words, after my eyes have been opened to see my sinfulness, I certainly resolve never to go that route again. Upon examining the results of the review that God had taken of my life, I see much that is amiss in me - much more than I was aware of - and I honestly determine in my heart to do no more so wickedly.
O Christian, can you say these words -
God was right and I was wrong.
My eyes have been opened.
I deserve every bit of the punishment that is rendered to me.
I do not want to end up in the "woodshed" again for another "round" of discipline.
I have learned my lesson well.
I will not offend God again through my outright disobedience, stubbornness, and pride.
In closing, we quote again from Pastor Henry - "...It is not the chastening itself that does good, but the teaching that goes along with it and is the exposition of it."
Just remember - If you are presently in the "woodshed" for your ungodly attitude or refusal to comply with God's wishes, don't be in a hurry to get out until you have learned your lesson well. The chastening will do no good unless you get the instruction behind it.
Therefore, do not leave without the teaching.
Be sure to take good notes.
If so, you'll be guaranteed a reprieve from that awful place.
May God Bless His Word.