Why it’s good to be told when your toast is mouldy

Date of talk: 
Sunday, 30 August 2015
Preacher: 
Steve Tweeddale

This week I talked about the moment when someone points out ‘mould on your toast’ - a metaphor for residual sin in the life of a Christian.

We firstly thought about 4 specific responses and attitudes that we often have (all of them negative). We went on to look at what Proverbs had to say about each of these responses in turn, and how it counters our perceptions with better ones.

1. It’s a nasty surprise -> It’s revelation

References: Proverbs16:2, 14:12/16:25, 21:2, 12:1, 15:32, Luke 7:47

2. It’s unpleasant, and unnecessary -> It’s worth it

References: Proverbs 17:10, 20:30, 15:31, 29:1, Hebrews 12:10-13

3. It’s offensive/divisive -> For friends, not enemies 

References: Proverbs 27:5-6, 28:23, 27:17, Ephesians 4:16

4. It’s shameful -> It’s a path to honour

References: Proverbs 25:12, 15:33, 13:18, 3:11-12

 

We then thought about how we might practically consider correction, discipline and reproof in these radically counter-intuitive ways Proverbs proposes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer lies in the radically counter-intuitive Gospel of grace! Specifically, Jesus has fully borne and dealt with the shame of our sin (Hebrews 12:2, Romans 10:10-11). We are now hidden in His perfect righteousness, and can experience the delight of the Father in his Son, even in the moment when we are reminded that His sanctifying work in us isn’t yet complete. We remain hidden in Christ, and the Father's delight in us remains, and is expressed (amongst many other things) through His discipline.

For discussion: 
  • Which of the four responses most resonated with you? Were you sufficiently persuaded by the Proverbs or do you think you’re likely to respond the same way next time?

 

  • Are there any other factors we didn’t talk about that you think might hold you back from responding positively?

 

  • Do we value friends who say the hard things? Do we have any? Oftentimes, people will only do so if explicitly invited to. This is scary, but can help you respond positively when it then happens (it’s harder to resent them, when you’ve invited them to do it). Who are the people in our lives we might trust enough to do this?

 

  • We only had time to talk about receiving correction this week, rather than giving it. But what might a ‘life-giving reproof’ look like? How might Joe’s talk on wise speech from the previous week apply?