Consider the Long-Term Value of Rebuke
He who rebukes a man will in the end [KJV: “afterward”] gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.
I must confess that I am not very adept at rebuke (either giving or receiving!). I would rather not take the chance of harming a friendship, so many times I just let the opportunity pass. Do you have that problem too? If so, this proverb is ours to study, chew over, and act upon.
The flattering tongue brings momentary pleasure perhaps, but in the end leaves a bitter aftertaste (Proverbs 26:28; 29:5). The gentle rebuke may bring momentary bitterness, but afterward it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace (Hebrews 12:11). If we could only see the long-term benefits of rebuke we would be more receptive to encouraging others in righteousness.
A non-believing friend of mine once commented that he couldn’t understand why some studied the Bible constantly. I told him that the Bible was written to rebuke us in our sin and to lead us to the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:15). After we’re saved, it is to teach and rebuke us, to correct us, and to train us in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) which is true freedom.
Likewise, we need to gently rebuke others for sin in their lives. We should never do it to show some supposed superiority. Conversely, we are to approach others humbly and prayerfully, knowing that we share the same weaknesses.
Peter and Paul. In 2 Peter 3:15, Peter speaks of his “dear brother Paul.” The rebuke which Peter had suffered from Paul is recorded in Galatians 2:11-19. Peter proved the truth of this proverb through this incident.
The Corinthians and Paul. He rebuked them for allowing a member to live in sin with his father’s wife. Later, we find that the church had set the matter straight. Paul did not overlook sin, but rebuked his converts (1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:1-10).
Prayer of Application
Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word, which is profitable in every way for our edification and rebuke. Thank You also for the godly rebuke of faithful Christians who care for me.
Copyright 2014 – Robert C. Beasley
Bob’s new eBook “The Life of Flavius Josephus”- A Paraphrase, is now available for $0.99 at www.Amazon.com. Visit www.readjosephus.com for more information on that book and the soon to be released “The Jewish Wars” – A Paraphrase