Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week #21 Proverbs 17:10 "When Discipleship Hurts"

"A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool."


Here is a verse that I really didn't want to reflect on and blog about. Rebukes, lashes, fools...what a verse.

But, the LORD puts His word before us for a reason. That includes not only the "Promise Verses" (the ones we like) but also the "Warning Verses" (the ones we'd like to avoid). This is one of the latter.

When I gave my life over to God many years ago, I expected to experience a multitude of blessings, deep fellowship with the saints and (to be honest) the euphoria of a new believer. I can attest to the blessings and fellowship, but somehow missed out on the spiritual high of the insanely cheerful believer.

That's probably a good thing. My periods of greatest growth as a Christian have been during times of deep fellowship and even deeper wrestling with my faith, my life, my sometimes faulty assumptions and with God Himself. It isn't always "fun" or "cheerful" when this happens. Many times it is downright painful.

So, when a rebuke (I'd rather call it "corrective advice") comes my way, it isn't easy. I am an insecure person by nature. Correction isn't always welcomed in my fragile world. With people offering advice, counsel, rebukes or complaints that touch on sensitive areas of my life and identity, it is easy to ignore, become defensive or shoot back in anger. I have done all three.

But, upon close examination of Proverbs 17, it is important to read the word "discernment." A person of discernment will take a rebuke to heart more deeply than a fool takes 100 lashes. What this also tells me is that a man of God will be discerning when a rebuke is from the LORD and when it is simply from man.

When being corrected, I must remember to put aside my injured ego and ask God if this correction is from Him. If it is, then I must listen, despite the hurt, and take it to heart. If it is not, then I must be gracious to the well-intended person, regardless of why they corrected me.

We've all been led down an unfortunate path when we've listened to erroneous rebukes. We've also been down this same unfortunate path when we've failed to heed godly advice.

Here is my take-away from this verse: 1) Ask the LORD if a rebuke (or any piece of advice) is from Him and 2) if the rebuke is godly, then thank Him for His correction. It doesn't mean that God is mad at me, or is punishing me. It means that He loves me. It means I am His child.

Oh yes, there is a step 3. When I receive a godly rebuke, I need to remind myself that the hurt will take time to stop hurting. Even well-intentioned pain still hurts. I heal slowly. That's my sensitive nature. It doesn't mean I'm any less spiritual than a believer who recovers quickly. But, praise God, eventually I do recover.

Thank you, LORD.


  1. Hi. These blog entries are pretty good.


  2. Thanks, Dana!

    It's good to see you after all these years. Hope life is treating you well. Are you and Harriet still down in Orange County?