Monday 26 August 2013


Truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures.” — Han Suyin

Almost thirty years ago, when I was attending a Baptist church, a visiting prophet gave me this word of rebuke: “You are supposed to be a leader and pillar in this church but you have not been living up to your potential.” It was a most accurate commentary of my spiritual state then. That was truly a wake-up call for me.

From then on, the various prophecies in my spiritual journey have been on a positive notegranting vision, direction and encouragement.

We are used to speaking positive words of encouragement from scripture to bless others. But out of politeness or fear of upsetting good relationships, we are afraid to use the Word to correct or rebuke.

We tell ourselves, “It is better not to rock the boat.” Let the status quo remain. Let sleeping dogs lie.

It is sad but true that some teachers fail to use the Word for correction or rebukewhereas it is meant to be both positive and negative.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encouragewith great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).

Love is not all soft and mushy. Unless truth is upheld, we are just being wishy washy with our faith, fearful of confronting error or sinwhether it is in us or others.

“Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives”(Jude 1:23).

Next time, if a man of God reproves us out of love, we’d better take heed. Repent, ask the Holy Spirit to open our spiritual eyes to see where we have fallen and make a fresh start in our spiritual walk.

A rebuke may be harsh but it is corrective. It not only saves us from judgment but enables us to fulfill our role in church so that the whole body becomes edified.  

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16).


Coronary bypass surgery (open-heart surgery) is a major procedure as the surgeon has to cut through the rib cage to get to the heart. But for those with blocked coronary arteries, it saves lives. It may give them many more years of lifeprovided they change their lifestyle and take their medications.

Truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures.” Han Suyin


Chastening, a mark of sonship:
“‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by him; for whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.’ Bear what you have to bear as chastening—as God’s dealing with you as sons. No true son ever grows up uncorrected by his father. For if you had no experience of the correction which all sons have to bear you might well doubt the legitimacy of your sonship”(Hebrews 12:5-8).

Rebuke is out of love:
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:15-19).

1 comment:

  1. A blog reader responded: Dr. Lim, keep sharing. On many occasions when I needed to hear God's counsel, rebuke, warning, encouragement, or His teaching, like today, your blog posts somehow prods my conscience at the right time. Thank you for your faithfulness in writing! God bless.

    My response: Hi. Glad that you have found the post meaningful. Thanks for the encouragement. Whilst prophecy has been instrumental in many believers’ spiritual growth—including mine—we should not be running after every prophet who comes to town, just like the circus. May you continue to sharpen your spiritual sensitivity to God’s leading. God bless.

    Here’s why: