Life-Giving Rebuke: an Oxymoron?


What did this verse just say? Did this verse say that rebuke can give you life? If you’re like me, you hate to be called out and challenged in your facts. It’s embarrassing and humiliating to find out you are wrong. And not just wrong in your opinion, but in your carefully research facts. That’s when my adrenaline starts to pump and I get defensive, feeling trapped and desperate, trying to save scraps of my dignity. I really hate rebuke.

That’s why this verse is very important for me, because I have been wrong, and I needed to be called out on it. But this verse speaks of life-giving rebuke. It is a rare variety. Not many are willing to give it, willing instead to tear down and destroy rather than build up and encourage. It seems most critical discussion has no desire to work together to a solution, but to endlessly lambast and denigrate until one side gives up and goes home.

I hope I’ve learned something from the rebuke I’ve received. I have tried to discern constructive from destructive and learn to take good advice and improve. I still learn, and still fight the urge to become defensive. And sometimes I let my passive-aggressive side show a little bit. But I hope I’m better than I was.

Because if you want to be seated with the wise, you have to learn to take your licks. If you want to hang out with those that know, you have to be willing to learn.

That’s all I’ve got today. I hope you have a great Saturday. God’s blessing on you today and your work in the Lord.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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