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It's Not Rejection - It's A Call Upwards

"The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise." Proverbs 15:31 A rebuke, whether it comes from the Lord or from a person, hurts. A person's reaction will always be anger, a refusal to receive it, and a self-justification bringing to mind all the reasons it's not true. That's human nature. We go off by ourselves to lick our wounds, and form all kinds of accusations in our hearts toward the one who wounded us. But the wise will sit down and go over what was said seeking to know if there's any truth in it. He must take the person who spoke it out of the picture, and concentrate solely on what was said. Many times, careful examination will shed light on a fault or a sin that the Lord wants to address. Having been there, (many times), I've learned that the rebuke of the Lord is given for a purpose and that purpose is for our good. It is NOT a rejection, it's a call upward. It is very humbling to sit before the Lord having to acknowledge something he reveals that hurts our pride, and it's terribly hard to admit to what is said. But I ask, would you want it any other way? Would you want to continue in the sin or the trait the Lord is pointing to? Perhaps, if you're new in the Lord, yes. But if you've walked with him awhile and have experienced his rebukes, and if you've cooperated with him and dealt with it, then you know the incomparable relief that lifts from you when you break through. The peace. The joy. And you'll find his arms open to you when you run to him for a hug. He'll give you that hug, because he's even more joyful than you are over the fact that you humbled yourself and received the rebuke and dealt with it. vs 32: "He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding." The greatest obstacle to breaking through to freedom is our pride. We are constantly seeking affirmation and resisting correction. We want to think we're great, but the Word of God tells us we're not. We push forward seeking self-esteem, but in doing so we're denying the truth about ourselves. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;" Jeremiah 17:9 This has to be the starting place, coming to accept the truth about ourselves, that we are not great, but that in fact we dwell in a fallen human nature that the Lord calls "deceitful" and "wicked." To pat oneself on the back is deceit. We're lying to ourselves. We're trying to tell ourselves something that is simply not true. The truth is that we're faulty, we're defective, and our fallen human nature is “desperately wicked.” There's not one of us whose fallen human nature is "good." Not one. “There is none righteous, no, not one;" Romans 3:10 When we come to the Lord, we have to start here, acknowledging the truth. And once one has done this a few times, he comes to the realization that this is the way OUT of our condition and into praise. From the day one is born again, a process begins inside - changing us, recreating us, restoring us, establishing us in all righteousness. It's a long process and can take a lifetime, but we won't even begin until we can go back to the beginning and grapple with the truth about ourselves. "The way of life winds upward for the wise, that he may turn away from hell below." Proverbs 15:24 The transformation is the work of the Lord as he works out his plan in us. But it has to start with humility, and the person who starts here will be on his way to knowing the wisdom of God. Humility has to come first, but it leads to honor and to the joy of the Lord, a joy some have never yet known because they can't let go of their pride, they refuse to admit the truth, they refuse to surrender. But once they "get it" and turn their lives over to their Creator, the sky's the limit. vs 33: "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and HE will lift you up." James 4:10


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