David makes a bold statement. He says, “let the righteous man strike me — it is a kindness...”. What does that mean? He is telling us that a person who is walking with Christ in submission and by faith should be free to talk with us about areas of our lives that are outside the boundaries of His will. He/she should have the freedom to warn me before I cross those boundaries or rebuke me when I go too far. This is how the church keeps the church pure before the Lord. We hold each other accountable in spiritual successes and sinful failures. God did not put us on this earth and save us so we could walk this life alone. He put us here to walk together in the sweet salvation that comes only through His Son. He knows that corporate prayer is far more powerful than individual prayer and that together we have a much easier time defeating the evil one. Why does this not happen as much as it should in the church? Two simple answers: fear and pride. Many believers are just too scared to talk to someone else about their sin and struggles, because we do not want to offend or hurt them. Those who are “slapped” let their pride rule their reaction and normally either fight back or walk away. Neither of those reactions helps in any way but when fear and pride are ruling it does not normally make much sense. How do we change this? Two answers suffice...we must learn to walk by faith, and we must live in humility towards our brothers and sisters in Christ. Fear cannot fuel our walk with God or with other believers; instead, we must walk by faith knowing God has called us to keep each other accountable. We must also react to constructive and negative criticism with a humble heart and an open mind. I understand that it is tough to take rebuke about your marriage from a twice-divorced neighbor, but we must respond humbly and ask God what the lesson for us might be.

Help me, Lord, to walk by faith and humility today as the church keeps the church accountable. Help me to accept every criticism and then ask for Your guidance in navigating the road ahead.