November 9

Proverbs 9:8-10 8Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. 10"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

It takes a humble heart to receive correction. You can almost gauge your spiritual growth by how well you take rebuke. When we are prideful and immature, our first response is to pick out the wrong in those who have come to instruct us. We may even voice what we think is wrong with them, just to show them that they are not without fault.

As we grow and God deals with our pride, we tend to listen without responding, and we may even thank the those who has taken the effort to correct us. But later, behind their back, we tell others how arrogant they were to pick out our fault when they have so many of their own. We may acknowledge some truth to their statement, but we console ourselves with justifications for our weakness. "After all, who is perfect?" we ask.

When we have failed like this a number of times and the voice of the LORD begins to get through our walls of our pride, we begin to understand that the LORD and His love for us is what makes us of value. Then, when a voice of correction comes, we may still flinch with pain from the blow, but we no longer look at the messenger. We know God allowed the messenger to come for our good. We take the message to the LORD and examine our condition. As we discern how much of the rebuke is true, we ask the LORD to help us express His life in that area, and not self. We take that old nature to the cross and leave it there. Then we can rejoice that the LORD has drawn us closer to Himself. We may even sincerely thank the messenger and ask for his help.

Consider: What a difference in our reaction to rebuke as we mature in spirit! At what stage are you?