RESPOND WISELY TO REBUKE
“Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.” (Proverbs 13:18 NKJV)
God does not want His children to be without a godly rebuke, correction, or discipline. God rebukes, corrects, or chastens us when we need it because He loves us and delights in us.
The Scripture testifies, “For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Prov. 3:12 NKJV).
While rebuking the lukewarm church of the Laodiceans, the Lord Jesus said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Rev. 3:19 NKJV).
The Scripture amply admonishes and encourages the parents to rebuke, correct, and discipline their children promptly when they err or stray from the right path.
The banes of our society today are the children raised without the rod of correction – without any rebuke, correction, or discipline.
The Scripture amply admonishes the parents to promptly rebuke, correct, and discipline their children when necessary.
Proverbs 13:24 – NKJV
24 He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Proverbs 19:18 – NKJV
18 Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.
Proverbs 22:15 – NKJV
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13-14 – NKJV
13 Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.
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Proverbs 29:15 – NKJV
15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 29:17 – NKJV
17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.
One of the primary purposes of God’s Word is to rebuke and correct us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – NKJV
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
It is also one of the primary responsibilities of the Church leaders to rebuke, correct, and discipline believers who err or stray from the path of righteousness.
The Scripture commands Church leaders to correct and rebuke with all authority. When and where there is no rebuke, correction, or discipline, sins will exceedingly abound or multiply (1 Cor. 5:1-7).
This is what is happening in our churches today!
Paul encourages church leaders to correct and rebuke all authority.
1 Timothy 5:20 – NKJV
20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.
Titus 2:15 – NKJV
15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
The present terrible moral and spiritual decline or degeneration that stares us in the face today in our churches is primarily due to the negligence of the people God has put in the position of authority in our churches to sharply and promptly but lovingly rebuke, correct, and discipline us when we stray from the path of righteousness.
Unfortunately, many of the leaders we have in our churches today lack the boldness to look us straight in the eyes and rebuke us when we err or stray from the truth.
When they should rebuke us, they flatter us; when they should correct us, they cheer us up; when they should discipline us, they promote us.
This is the reason why many of our churches today are full of unconverted converts, hypocrites, spiritually immature or carnal believers.
Anyone who praises, encourages, or cheers you up while you are living in sin does not truly love you or care about your soul. However, if you fail to heed sound rebuke and correction, you don’t love yourself.
The Scripture sternly warns against rejecting or refusing to heed correction.
Proverbs 15:32 – NKJV
32 He who disdains instruction despises his soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
Proverbs 29:1 – NKJV
1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
Nobody is above rebuke, correction, or discipline because nobody has immunity against mistakes. Therefore, you need someone in your life that can sharply but lovingly rebuke, correct, or even discipline you when you stray from the right path.
The Scriptures state, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Prov. 29:15 NKJV).
It is very dangerous to be surrounded only by sycophants who will not cease singing your praises and flattering you even when you are heading towards destruction.
The Scripture warns, “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.” (Eccl. 7:5 NKJV).
The people who genuinely love and care about you are those who promptly and lovingly rebuke, correct, and restore you when you err from the right path, for the Scripture reveals that “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.” (Prov. 27:5 NKJV).
Sadly, it is not everybody that celebrates, accepts, or heeds rebuke and correction. However, those who are wise consider and accept rebuke or correction as kindness shown to them and are grateful to those who love them enough to rebuke, correct or discipline them when they err from the path of righteousness.
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The Psalmist said, “Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it…” (Psa. 141:5 NKJV).
But the scoffers or fools always despise, hate, or reject rebuke and correction.
Proverbs 13:1 – NKJV
1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
Proverbs 9:8 – NKJV
8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Proverbs 17:10 – NKJV
10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool.
The Bible warns us against reacting to rebuke and correction as fools or scoffers do. It supplies us with various examples of foolish people who despised and rejected rebuke. It also does not hide from us the consequences of their foolishness so that we may not follow their wrong and stupid steps.
Uzziah, the king of Judah, was undoubtedly one of the people in the Bible who responded to rebuke and correction in a wrong or foolish way. As a result, he suffered terribly for his foolishness.
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When the priests rebuked Uzziah for transgressing God’s law by entering the temple to burn incense on the altar of incense, he would not receive the rebuke but got angry with the priests. Consequently, he was struck with leprosy.
2 Chronicles 26:19 – NKJV
19 And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the incense altar.
God struck Uzziah with leprosy not because he burned incense, for he had not even burnt it, but because he was angry with the priests who confronted, rebuked, and corrected him.
This shows that it is very dangerous to be angry and bitter against the leaders God brings your way or who God places in your life to rebuke, correct or discipline you (Prov. 15:32).
Saul, the first king of Israel, was also a typical example of an unwise person in the Bible who disdained rebuke and correction. He unfortunately paid dearly for it.
Whenever Saul was rebuked by Prophet Samuel for not obeying God’s voice, he always justified and defended his wrong actions. Eventually, Saul lost his throne and life because he would not heed rebukes and corrections (1 Sam. 13:11-12, 15:10-23).
The Scripture warns, “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Prov. 29:1 NKJV).
Beloved, it is simply foolishness to get angry or bitter when you are rebuked, corrected, or disciplined for the wrongs you have done. Remember Uzziah!
Similarly, it is unwise to seek to defend or justify your mistakes when you are being rebuked, corrected, or disciplined. Remember Saul!
Proverbs 29:1 – NKJV
1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
Proverbs 13:18 – NKJV
18 Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.
Therefore, be careful of how you handle, treat or respond to sincere and godly rebuke, correction, or discipline.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I choose today to heed godly rebuke, correction, and discipline humbly and to esteem it as kindness shown to me. Help me, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.