Proverbs 15:10. Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
The flesh does not like to be told it is wrong. Pride will cause you to not take a reproof and change. Some can take a reproof from an elder or pastor, but few can take a reproof from a spouse, child, or someone “less” esteemed in a church. When it says that correction is grievous to those who forsake the way of God, that means it is afflictive, painful or hard to be borne, according to the Webster’s 1828. The reason it is hard to be born for most is pride. We figure that we cannot learn anything from some people, we just don’t really want to change, or we don’t want to hear what we know is true. When we start to hate reproof, especially from those that really know us, we will soon die spiritually.
Others can often see in us what we fail or refuse to see ourselves. When we fail to listen and try to change because of stubbornness and pride, we are only hurting ourselves. A rebuke is an opportunity for growth in our Christian life. It is easy to blame others and get mad at them for telling us the truth. That is only hurting yourself. You are cutting yourself off from potentially good advice. Likely when someone has a word of reproof for you, they are putting themselves in a precarious situation. When you refuse or hate the reproof, you are almost guaranteeing that you will never get advice from that person again. Many can take a rebuke during preaching if it is not personal. It is when it gets personal that we get defensive.
I realize that not everything someone tells you is valuable, nor does everyone understand your situation. However, often people do understand some things. Take the meat and spit out the bones with whatever advice you get. There is surely something that can help you. The way you refuse a reproof or correction is by “forsaking the way.” When you refuse or don’t put into practice what has been revealed, you are forsaking the light God has given you. When offering a reproof, you need to not “just speak your mind.” Pray about it and then don’t be afraid to say something when the Lord prompts you. Also, don’t get upset when someone takes it the wrong way. Try to be as tactful as possible. Most important however, is that you take reproof with a humble attitude and try to change. Being more ready to hear, than speak, is best. Don’t offer excuses; just listen, hold your tongue, learn, and change.
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