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Why bruising is good for us

“…a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench.” –Matthew 12:20. 

“After conversion we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, and not oaks. Even reeds need bruising, by reason of the remainder of pride in our nature, and to let us see that we live by mercy. Such bruising may help weaker Christians not to be too much discouraged, when they see stronger ones shaken and bruised. Thus Peter was bruised when he wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). This reed, till he met with his bruise, had more wind in him than pith when he said, ‘Though all forsake thee, I will not’ (Matthew 26:33). The people of God cannot be without these examples. The heroic deeds of those great worthies do not comfort the church so much as their falls and bruises do.”

-Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed, p.5.