A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.(Proverbs 17:10 ESV)
Making a mistake is one of those things that should be expected. Taking a correction for a mistake should not be unusual.
There is a correction and there is a rebuke – two members of the same family with a slight difference. Correction is the younger brother. He’s softer, he doesn’t come across that strongly at all, but he’s still insistent and can be assertive. He’s the guy you’ll knock around with because he’s the smart guy.
If you mess with him, though, he will call his big sister, Rebuke, on you. His big sister shares the same sort of family feel as he does, but she’s the big sister for a reason. She is the one who will not allow any nonsense and let you know clearer than anything that you are bang out of order. You might have got the memo from her little brother, but because you didn’t pay attention here she is to set you straight and no mistaking.
Rebuke isn’t a bully – that’s not how she behaves, in fact she behaves the way she does exactly because she doesn’t want to see others bullied by the consequence of their mistakes. Rebuke, however, does not lack in the guts to be bold and say things as they are when it comes to setting people straight.
That’s why people of understanding take a conversation with Rebuke seriously. Those kind of conversations sink deep, because if little brother had to get big sister to sort this out, then there must be something of value to gain for their benefit. People of understanding appreciate Rebuke and do not want to mess with her at all. They hear what she’s saying, take it on board and then return to little brother Correction to apologise for not heeding the warnings. That’s why people of understanding make progress – because they take Rebuke seriously.
Others, however, keep on getting slapped upside the head by Rebuke on plenty of occasions and do not pay attention. In fact Rebuke leaves them often to face those consequences to their actions and they will still blunder on to the next travesty, because they don’t take to heart the appeals of Correction or the firm statements of Rebuke. It’s never their fault, it’s someone else’s. Despite the obvious staring them in the face, they are happy to pass the buck to someone and something else, but not so happy when the results of that buck passing leaves them in a mess. Will they ever learn?
Meanwhile it’s good to know that the brother and sister duo of Correction and Rebuke are on hand for those who wish to understand.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden