"A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding that a hundred blows into a fool."
As an air force wife, I moved numerous times. My oldest daughter said that she had counted up the schools she attended and they were 9! That probably doesn't even count her year of home schooling.
I remember one particular move when I began teaching a ladies' Bible study. I had taught for a number of years and had just left a very successful four years of leading a study. I guess I thought I knew how to do it right! Just like the other one, right?
After the first meeting two ladies came to me and said, "You are going about this all wrong," and proceeded to tell me why.
Oh, I was offended!What had been so successful in the past, they were now telling me was not appropriate for the particular ladies who had attended this one. And I didn't like the way they said it; they were from a different country and very direct and (it seemed to me at the time) much too harsh in their criticism. And they were younger than I was! (I was all of 37.) And we had only had one class so far! How did they know what would work? How could they be so hard on me?
I was a fool.
They may as well have given me 100 blows.
This meeting affected my ministry for 3 years. I finished out the study I had begun and then quit. Gave up. Finished. At least for those 3 years. No more listening to that kind of stuff.!
Years later I was encouraged by the Lord to write to the woman who had led the two to my home. I was forced to humble myself and tell her that yes, she was right after all. I asked her forgiveness for being foolish and not heeding good advice, counsel and rebuke. This woman that I had considered so harsh was so very gracious, and I don't think she even remembered the occasion. But I surely did!
I may have led successful Bible studies, but I had not yet become a woman of understanding. How important it is that we listen to rebuke and consider whether it is of value rather than being offended by the method in which it was delivered ,or the fact that it was delivered at all. A rebuke can go deep into a person of understanding. A rebuke that is warranted can go a long way in helping to develop wisdom.
As we take rebuke graciously,