Go Ahead and Reprove Me
This morning I was reading upon the word "reprove" in Scripture. Basically the word reproof in the Bible means correction. Correction isn't necessarily something we like or enjoy, but it's something that's absolutely necessary because let's face it - as fallen sinners we are definitely not always right. As I searched in Scripture for the word "reprove" I found two very interesting verses, both of them having to do with reproof and love:
"Reprove a wise man, and he will love you" (Prov. 9:8).
"Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline" (Rev. 3:19).
These verses connect with each other. The first one gives us a principle: if you reprove someone who is wise, the response from them is love. The second tells us about God's own love for us. Instead of the reproved, this deals with the reprover. It tells us that his reproof is motivated by love.
These two verses, read in tandem teach us something: God corrects us because he loves us, and that correction is meant to make us love him even more.
We live in a world that hates to be corrected. People increasingly hate to be disagreed with at all. As a result, people separate into enclaves. They'll watch the news, but only from someone they already agree with. They'll have conversations about current events, but only with the people who are already part of their "tribe" in the first place. College campuse, for example, are becoming increasingly homogenous, to the point that only likeminded people are welcome when it comes to the exchange of ideas. People today live in vast echo chambers that already reflect their own thinking, and the result is that people are becoming less and less accustomed to being reproved.
There is more communication going on in our own day and age than ever, and yet people are also probably reproved less than they've ever been.
But true reproof is something that the Bible tells us we should welcome. We should welcome it from others who have something helpful and true to say. If someone points out an untrue belief of ours, if we're wise we'll be open to hearing it. In the same way if a brother or sister sees some inconsistency in our life that goes against Scripture, we may not want to hear it, but need to hear it so that we can change.
We shouldn't only welcome reproof from others, but we should welcome reproof from God Himself. Job tells us "Blessed is the one whom God reproves" (Job 5:17).
The two places that God is most likely to reprove us is in our own reading of Scripture, and also in the preaching of the Word each week. Let's read God's Word asking God as we read: "Would you have me change, Lord? Show me if there is any unrighteous way within me."
If we're fools we'll do whatever we can to avoid being disagreed with or corrected. We live in a generation of fools. Let's do the wise and godly thing and expose ourselves to opportunities for reproof.