SAVE YOURSELF THE TROUBLE
“Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.” Proverbs 9:8
Since the Word of God is ‘profitable for correction and for instruction in righteousness’, it would also stand to reason that the messenger who brings the Word of God to others is also bringing correction and instruction. As God’s ambassador, I should be prepared because not all are willing to receive it. I shouldn’t be surprised when the experience turns sour and my spirit is left stinging after the encounter.
If the other person’s pride is wounded, there is often payback. The level will be determined by the degree of evil in the person. Try to reason with a mocker, one who is addicted to being right, and you can plan on being insulted. His need to look good at all costs will prevail. Rebuke a wicked man and the stakes go even higher. Instead of arguments, there will be personal attacks. Know that your soul will be unsafe and the target of injurious comments meant to do personal damage.
What did Jesus do in such situations? After a teaching session to a crowd in Jerusalem, His disciples came to him and said, “Did you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard you teach today?” Jesus was not surprised. He said, “Leave them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up.”
In other words, the battle is not ours today. God will uproot all evil one day and each man will give an accounting. For now, if we discern that someone is simply unteachable, we can save ourselves the trouble of repeatedly bringing correction.
The more wisdom a man has, the more desirous he is for instruction. When all is said and done, I examine my heart on both sides of the equation. 1.) I ask myself how well I take constructive criticism. And, 2.) Before subjecting myself to the needless pain and aggravation of bringing truth to another, I ask God to help me discern the teachability of the one I feel called to exhort.
Help me not to waste words on those who seek to pervert the kingdom. But don’t let me refrain from speaking if, in the long run, You ask me to plant difficult seeds. In Your name I pray, Amen