Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life
Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.
Today’s words from Solomon about ‘correcting sinful behaviour’ are not the easiest to follow, but they certain would benefit us, if we could follow them. Even Jesus shares his wisdom on the matter. Let’s top up our coffees and see what they have to say…
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ How many times did we say that phrase as a child? How many times did we as children, or do we as adults, face bullies or gossipers or any number of verbally abusive individuals? They certainly do cross our paths, and if you are like me, your first instinct is to retaliate and to correct their ways. But Solomon is saying that we need to be careful. We need to consider to whom we are correcting or responding.
Trying to correct someone who is seeking to be hurtful and looking for a reaction in their victim will simply continue to be insulting. Don’t waste your time or words. Instead just be silent and, if possible, walk away. Do not give them any ammunition to continue in their abusive behaviour toward you, and you will prevent any further abuse. Even Jesus encourages us: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)
On the other hand, as someone who knows the Lord, let loving correction be received with open arms. It never feels good and it is our sinful nature to want to lash back, but don’t. Stop and listen; heed the words of correction you have received, and thank the person for caring about you so much that they would care to help you be the best, godly person you can be.
Finally, in all situations- whether being mocked or corrected- let your actions, above all, reflect the humility and love of Christ, just as he quietly endured the pain and suffering of the cross for you and me.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it is so tempting to lash back when someone is verbally attacking me. Help me to walk away, to focus my thoughts on you, and not to enable the other person to continue in their hurtful way. Also, in those times when I sin and need to be corrected, help me to heed the correction of another and be thankful for their love towards me. Finally, in all situations help me to be the light of Christ with integrity, humility, and love. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!