Psalm 141:5 NIV
Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.
One of the hardest thing I ever have to do its to go to speak to people to deal with spiritual problems. Now, you might think that this is the 'bread and butter' of being a Pastor. Surely it should be what I'm good at. But its horrendously difficult.
No one likes to have problems pointed out. Even in other areas of life this is the case. I remember labouring hard to lay a new tiled floor only for my son to come in and point out that a tile right at the corner of the room wasn't quite level. He was right, but I was furious. It hit my pride, it frustrated me after all my effort, and it meant that all I had done wasn't as good as my ego told me. Now, of course, he could have been much more gentle with me in breaking the news, but the reality was that I needed to know about the problem then while I could rectify it and not later when the tile was grouted hard in place.
One of the greatest blessings we can have is a faithful brother or sister in Christ who is willing to say the difficult things and point out where we are not walking will with God. Of course, they need to do this in love with great humility of heart over their own lives (think of specks & planks!). But it is a huge help in our walk with God.
Yet, when those rebukes come, no matter how gentle and wise, they can seem to hit hard. It is like the 'righteous man striking me' of this Psalm... It hurts!!
But, when we see the blessing of it, when we understand the privilege of having someone prepared to say those difficult things, when we see that God has brought them to us just like God sent that Godly man Nathan to so wisely rebuke David, then realise the grace of God in the rebuke that hurts.
How we need to have hearts like David that realise the grace of God in the right rebuke of a Godly man or woman, and welcome it as sweet soothing healing oil on our heads.