He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31 (NIV)
That is exactly what I am doing. What are you doing? I’m listening. What are you listening to? I’m listening to whatever you want to say to me. It would be foolish for me to do otherwise. Yes, it would be very foolish. It sounds like you have quite a bit of experience in this matter, is that true? I have much more experience in being a poor listener and doing what was foolish. I have been strong willed. I have been headstrong. I have been self-reliant. I have been independent. I have self-sufficient. I have been stubborn. I have been something of a “know it all” All of these have been foolish attitudes that I have held at one time or another. For that, I ask your forgiveness. You have my forgiveness. How have all these foolish attitudes impacted your life? I have thought and said and done very foolish things. I have wasted time and energy. I have gone and done what was unfruitful and unrewarding. Basically, these self-reliant and self-absorbed attitudes have led me to go and do my own thing. I have done what was right in my own eyes. What’s wrong with that? I don’t come with wisdom built into me. On my own, I have taken many missteps. I have headed the wrong direction. I have done the wrong things. I have bounced around from one unfruitful endeavor to another. All of this is not good. Yes, I know.
What do you know? How would you like to live your life differently? I want your wisdom. I want to follow your guidance. I want to receive your instruction. I want to be able to know and do your will. That is very good. So, you will listen to me? Yes, I will. So, you will listen to wise and godly people that I bring into your life? Yes, I will. You will let people know that you are open to correction? You will listen to feedback? You will even welcome life-giving rebukes into your life? Yes, I will. Let me be clear, life-giving rebukes may be painful. Life-giving rebukes will make you uncomfortable. Life-giving rebukes may even tend to cause you to become defensive. But you will hear life-giving rebukes? You will welcome life-giving rebukes into your life? Yes, I will.
What will happen to you as you hear and receive and act on life-giving rebukes? I will be changed. I will be made different. Why is that? You will use life-giving rebukes to mold and shape my life. Yes, I will. You will use life-giving rebukes to make me into the person you want me to become. Yes, I will. So, I will hear and receive and act on any and all life-giving rebukes you want to send my way. I’m listening. That will be very good.
Lord, I want to send off signals that I will receive and act on life-giving rebukes. I will not be stubborn. I will not be resistant. I will not be strong-willed and firmly set in my ways. Rather, I will be receptive and welcoming of any life-giving rebukes I need to hear. Amen
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