Saturday, February 21, 2009

How To Take a Rebuke

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39)

         There’s nothing pleasant about a rebuke. Notice, I did not say a rebuke isn’t a good thing; merely that it isn’t pleasant. In fact, Proverbs 9:8 says, although a wise man may love you for it, a “scorner” may very well hate you. Well, let’s face it; a rebuke is always negative, no matter how positively it may be presented. The result of some real or perceived offense or misstep. One way or the other, something needs to be corrected, and our feeling about the person who brings it to our attention has nothing whatsoever to do with the validity of the rebuke (Num. 22:28).

         The wind in chapter four of Mark was only doing what wind is supposed to do—blow. But when the God of creation deems otherwise, the wind must, and does, obey. As the verse says, our Lord “rebuked the wind…and the wind ceased.” No argument, no accusation of unfairness, just a simple acquiescence. The clincher is the final clause: “…and there was a great calm.” And that is always the result of quietly taking a rebuke, valid or otherwise, and no matter who gives it.

         Here is something else that may help. Jeremiah, after suffering scorn and persecution, says to God, [K]now that for thy sake have I suffered rebuke” (Jer. 15:15). That should take some of the sting out, don’t you think? Knowing that nothing can touch us without God’s permission.

         After what He suffered for my sake; am I not able to suffer an occasional rebuke for His sake? 

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