Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
~ Prov. 9:8
How do you react when a friend corrects you? How about when your mom or dad calmly point to something in your life that isn’t exactly healthy or helpful? Do you “love” them in response? Is your initial gut-reaction to smile and give your friend a big ol’ hug?
If you’re like me, when you’re corrected, the response is often “hate.” Ok, so it might not be that strong of a response, but it surely isn’t love. Which means, according to the logic of verse 8, I’m the opposite of wise. My fury in hearing even the most loving, well-intentioned rebuke is a sign of my pride, which happens to be the wrong starting point for true wisdom. Humility (“Fear of the LORD” v. 10) is the birthplace of wisdom. It’s a humble heart that hears loving rebuke from friends and family and, rather than lash out, receives it, truly considers its validity and responds accordingly. Why? Because the end-game is the wisdom of God, not prideful egotism.
Lord, help us in our search for wisdom. Grant us humble hearts that welcome rebuke and correction from friends and family as a way of maturing in wisdom as we follow after Jesus. Help us to resist feeding our egos, our pride, which keep us from your wise ways. For your glory and the good of those around us, amen!