It is in mercy that the Lord reveals to men their hidden defects. He would have them critically examine the complicated emotions and motives of their own hearts and detect that which is wrong, modify their dispositions, and refine their manners. God would have His servants become acquainted with their own hearts. In order to bring to them a true knowledge of their condition, He permits the fire of affliction to assail them so that they may be purified. {My Life Today p 92}

There are two areas that God wants us to develop in (not to the exclusion of others): holiness and as thoughtful, self-directed human beings.  By self-directed I mean that God wants us to develop the powers of our minds to be able to think through situations and make mature decisions.  He wants us to use our minds to make proper decisions from His word, rather than to trust our spiritual decisions to family, friends, or spiritual leaders.

God begins this process by revealing our faults to us.  He wants to see if we will react in a humble way and repent.  Will we come at the defect and say, “Something is wrong here, I wonder what the problem really is,” and explore our thoughts and emotions to find the root cause?  I think it is critical that we avoid a mindset of, “This is who I am and I can’t change, so deal with it.”  This is absolutely not an easy process to do, but God will help us, and we can train our minds in this process.

This reminds me of a verse in Psalm 19:

Psalms 19:12 – Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.

There are problems and errors I have that I don’t know about.  I can offend people without knowing it.  I have patterns of sin that I haven’t identified and dealt with yet.  Sometimes I pray the prayer of this verse, that God will reveal those unknown sins to me so that they can be dealt with.

On the path to holiness, God is quite willing to allow us to go through difficult times if it will develop us into mature emotional and rational human beings.  We should always keep this in mind when we are in the fire of an unpleasant situation.  Let us look for how we can grow and develop as a person toward holiness and maturity.

However, let us always keep foremost in our mind God’s motivation:

Revelation 3:19 – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.