To Rebuke or Not to Rebuke

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 9

Gold Nugget
Verse 8: Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

Commentary
To rebuke or not to rebuke… that is the question. It isn’t always easy drawing the line between when you should confront someone and when you shouldn’t. Before we discuss what scenarios may be appropriate for rebuking and not rebuking, let’s first discuss what should never be deciding factors. The first condition that should NOT decide whether or not you should confront them is fear. If you are afraid of either being shunned or of retaliation, you should not allow that to be the deciding factor on whether or not you take your stand. Standing up for what is right never promises popularity or even safety. Another condition that should not prevent you from confronting someone is laziness. When it is appropriate to confront someone, we should let it be a priority. This doesn’t mean that we will not proceed slowly, with caution seeking wisdom, but it does mean that we will not blow it off. Now, when is it the wrong time to rebuke? Two things should be sufficient to decide when you shouldn’t rebuke. One, when neither the person being confronted or others affected by the issue are expected to receive any benefit or potential learning from your rebuke, there isn’t any wisdom in confronting them. Consider the first part of today’s “gold nugget”, Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; When you know for certain that the person is not open to receive instruction, do not proceed for your own satisfaction. If there is someone else being lead astray with their folly, it may be appropriate to speak up for their benefit. The second condition that should prevent you from rebuking someone is whether or not you can administer it with love. If you are not doing it out of love, not only will it affect the delivery, but it is evident that you are not the right person for the job. So, when is the right time to rebuke? Take the wrong time to rebuke already mentioned and use the same steps. When either the person being confronted or others affected by the issue could benefit or learn from your rebuke, then proceed with love. Consider the second part of today’s “gold nugget”, Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

Prayer
Lord, I know there is an appropriate time to confront someone. Help me to have the wisdom and love to know when it is the right time and when it isn’t my place . Amen

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