(Psalm 141:5 ESV) 5 Let a righteous man strike me–it is a kindness; let him rebuke me–it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.
Let me just tell ya… If someone smacks me in the face my natural response is going to be to smack back! I don’t know very many people who would give someone permission to hit them!
I played on the basketball team at the Bible college I attended in California. I could shoot pretty accurately, move fairly quickly, jump high enough that someone could slip a piece of paper under my tennis shoe, rebound well… I wasn’t terrible, but I had a major flaw that prevented me from being all I could be. I was skinny. No, really! SIZE 28 WAIST SKINNY! And, because I was skinny, I got pushed around a lot. I spent a fair amount of time on the floor.
The coach used to yell at me and tell me “You could be so good if you could just stay on your feet!” “Square you shoulders son… plant your feet… toughen up… hit someone… ANYONE!” I did the best I could, but my body was not made for contact!
One day, the coach decided to toughen me up. He told me it was for my own good. He may have lied a little… His strategy to toughen me up was to have MY TEAMMATES hit me, shove me, hold me, pull me, trip me…. They spent a whole practice slapping me, pulling my shorts, putting their fingers in my ears… you get the picture…. His message to me was clear, “If you’re going to reach your full potential, you have to learn to get hit and stay on your feet!”
Dr. Gene Rice frequently says, “You can make it if you can take it!”
You know what? It worked! The next game I received a technical foul for being too aggressive! Over the next few games, I learned how to balance my aggression with wisdom and became a better and more effective player.
We will miss the point of this lesson if we only read this scripture from a human point of view. David is NOT inviting his enemies to attack him. Instead, he is opening his soul to inspection by those who have his best interest at heart. He believed that when a righteous man “struck” him with godly wisdom, it was like receiving a kindness. Further, if a righteous man “rebuked” him, he saw it as having healing balm applied to his fevered brow. In other words, there is power in submitting ourselves to brothers and sisters in the Lord for the purpose of personal development.
David closed this verse by speaking to himself. He wrote, “Let my head not refuse it.” Like David, I don’t want to be guilty of missing an opportunity to grow in maturity; even if it causes temporary pain.
PRAYER: Lord, search me and see if there are any issues that I need to develop. Send friends and family members who can speak wisdom in a timely manner so that I can become everything you want me to be. Amen.