“The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.” ~Proverbs 15:31-32
I think one of the hardest things about growing up is being constantly corrected and rebuked by your elders for not doing the right thing, or for being a bonehead about things we should have known better. When you are on the receiving end of criticism and reproof, it can be humiliating, and even hurtful. However, the major means by which we develop wisdom and discernment is when we are corrected, reproved, and advised that we made a bad mistake. We can learn from this and not repeat it, or be hardened and wind up repeating the mistake again. This morning, let us put on the cloak of humility, and learn the importance of reproof.
We see the RENDERING of reproof.
Reproof is when we are given a verbal correction or written disapproval of something we did not do right. Reproof is being rebuked for unsatisfactory behavior and actions. It is typically correction or rebuke that a parent, teacher, manager, or a spiritual leader might give to us. Reproof is never pleasant to receive. When we are reproved, our feelings can get hurt. We might feel insulted and disrespected. Being reproved is being told that an action should not be repeated or a behavior needs to cease immediately. Let us remember that reproof is a necessary action in order for us to be better Christians.
We see the REFUSAL of reproof.
To refuse reproof discloses some major flaws in our character, judgment, and going interests. If we hate reproof, we are brutish or obstinate, (Proverbs 12:1). To refuse reproof and correction can lead to poverty and shame, (Proverbs 13:18). The neglect of parental reproof indicates foolishness, (Proverbs 15:5). The hating of reproof leads to death, (Proverbs 15:10). Are you someone who despises reproof? Are you someone who blows up, retreats into hiding, and develops deep-seated antagonism against all forms of authority when you are rebuked? Refusing reproof can be very risky for our spiritual life and long-term spiritual well-being.
We see the REWARD of reproof.
Receiving reproof shows we are prudent, (Proverbs 15:5). Receiving reproof indicates you are in the way of life, (Proverbs 6:23). Receiving reproof means you have understanding, (Proverbs 15:32). Those who receive reproof receive honor, (Proverbs 13:18). There is an abounding reward for us by having a meek and teachable spirit at all times. Paul told Timothy that all scripture is profitable for doctrine, correction, reproof, and instruction in righteousness. Reproof is a needed friend to us. It is timely advice. It is a preventive word that could save us from a multitude of sin. It is a teacher that seeks to keep us on the straight and narrow path and avoid straying off into sin.
Let us be careful of thinking we are above being reproved. Let us be careful of rejecting reproof and throwing all correction out the window. Let the spiritual leaders in your life give strong guidance to you if it means you will be rebuked.
Have a resolute God Morning!