Have you ever been reproved? Do you even know what it means? The Hebrew word used in the verse above is "tokhakhat" and means "correction."
I've had experience with being reproved as a teenager, as a young mother, and as a mature woman. As a teen, I was rebuked by a teacher at school for hanging out with the wrong crowd. She did it in a very kind and loving way and I received it.
As a young mother, I was reproved by an older woman about my mothering methods. Her words were harsh and unkind. I didn't take it very well. Looking back to that day, I see that she was right, but her delivery was all wrong. It was not a loving reproof. It was an angry slap in the face.
I've been reproved as a mature woman several times. Each time, the reproof was kind and caring and I received their wisdom.
In each of these cases, the person really did have my best interest at heart. I'm glad they cared enough to correct me.
I'm concerned that there is not enough reproving going on in the synagogues and churches of today because of the misconception that reproving is judging. We are told in both the Old Testament and the New that this is our duty. Would we please Adonai if we did not warn someone who was about to go over a cliff?
Having gone through reprimands myself, I've learned a good way to reprove others. Here are the steps I take:
- When I see someone going down the wrong road, I pray for them.
- I seek God's face about whether I am the one who should confront the problem. (I am the women's minister at our synagogue, but sometimes my rabbi husband is the one who should have the talk.)
- If I'm to be the one to confront the problem, I read and meditate on these passages in Scripture: Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 6:41-42
- Keeping those verses in mind, I begin a season of prayer, searching my heart about my own sins.
- I confess and ask forgiveness for any sin Hashem reveals.
- I pray for the right time and place to talk.
- I pray for my heart to be in the right place, full of love and compassion.
- I pray for the right words.
- I pray for the person to be receptive to my counsel.
- I meditate on this passage from Galatians 6:1-5 (CJB) ~
"Brothers, suppose someone is caught doing something wrong.
You who have the Spirit should set him right,
but in a spirit of humility, keeping an eye on yourselves so that you won’t be tempted too.
2 Bear one another’s burdens — in this way you will be fulfilling
the Torah’s true meaning, which the Messiah upholds.
3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is really nothing, he is fooling himself.
4 So let each of you scrutinize his own actions.
Then if you do find something to boast about,
at least the boasting will be based on
what you have actually done and not merely on a
judgment that you are better than someone else;
5 for each person will carry his own load."
I've used this method many, many times. I wish I could tell you that it's always successful. It's not. Sometimes the person humbly receives the counsel of God's Word. Other times, the person becomes angry and completely turns me off, or even accuses me of "judging" them. Their reaction reveals the state of their heart. As the Scripture in the graphic above says:
"The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise."
I'm sincerely thankful for the reproofs I've received over the years. It's not easy to be corrected, but it truly is life-giving when done God's way.
Can you receive a reproof? Or do you just say, "Don't judge me..." It's something to ponder, Gail-Friends.
The article below inspired me to write this post today, and it's really good counsel.
HOW CAN WE RECEIVE A REBUKE?
By Nancy Campbell on Facebook
Do you find it difficult to receive a rebuke? It’s not easy, is it? At first, we may feel offended. But then we must change the attitude of our hearts.
“Dear Father, please give me a soft and tender heart to receive reproof. Teach me Your ways from this reproof.”
And instead of getting bitter, we open our hearts to instruction. This is the way we mature. This is the way we grow in our walk with the Lord. If we cannot receive reproof, we may stay in the same habit, the same sin, or the same rut for years!
The other day I read this powerful Scripture in Psalm 141:5: “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil.”
I looked up the Passion translation and was challenged when I read: “When one of your faithful ones rebukes me, I will accept it like an honor I cannot refuse. It will be healing medicine that I swallow without an offended heart.” What wonderful words to take to our hearts.
Can we receive instruction and reproof to heal us like medicine? And without being offended?
This Scripture calls reproof a healing medicine. Proverbs 15:31 calls it “the reproof of life.” It brings life to our souls.
This is how we need to live our personal lives and then teach this habit to our children. We must teach our children HOW to receive instruction and rebuke. It is natural to resist. We must show them God’s way.
I think this would be a good Scripture to pin up in your kitchen for the whole family, don’t you?"