Social Media has turned all of us into narcissists though we did not intend to become that when we signed on. We judge our self-worth by how many “likes” our photos garner. We love to see words like “hot” “slay” “fine” and we cannot get enough of the hearts emoticon. It is just the way we are, we like to hear good things about us; it makes us happy, boosts our confidence and puts a spring in our steps. We like to hear good things about steps we are taking, projects we are undertaking and decision we are making. We naturally gravitate towards people who affirm us and say good things to and about us.
This is all good but what we do not need are “yes men”, people who will agree with everything we say whether good, bad, senseless or stupid. We all need people in our lives who can disagree with us, tell us when we are wrong without fear of incurring our displeasure, point out the folly in the steps we are about to take and boldly steer us out of trouble.
In 2 Chronicles 18, king Ahab sought king Jehoshaphat’s help to go to war against Ramoth Gilead. The latter agreed to help him but told Ahab “first seek the counsel of the Lord”. So Ahab called in four hundred prophets that he himself had appointed into that office and inquired of them whether to go to war and whether he would be successful. They gave him the green light and added that God would give him victory. Not convinced, Jehoshaphat asked if there was no longer a prophet of the Lord, i.e. one appointed by God himself in Isreal, from whom they could make the inquiry. “The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord , but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
True to form, Micaiah came and prophesied the truth to Ahab. He told him not to go to war for God said he would be killed. Ahab got angry because Micaiah did not tell him what he wanted to hear and had him put in prison. Ahab went ahead to fight Ramoth Gilead and was killed just as Micaiah prophesied.
A man I knew a while back used to say “truth is harsh but must be told”. Yes, truth can be hard to handle sometimes but it is necessary if we are to succeed in our callings, our jobs and our lives. You will not always like the truth but it is what you need to ensure you get to where you need to get to. No one is perfect, no one knows it all, wisdom does not reside in one person’s mind. So though we need those who will like everything we do however ugly, we must necessarily embrace those who will hit the “unlike button” when need be. Only the foolish abhors correction.