Proverbs 15:31, “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.”
My Mom is Italian and my Dad is Polish. Both of their grandparents came from the mother country. They were the first generation to marry outside of their nationality- up until that time their parents and relatives married within their own culture. So I grew up literally half Italian and half Polish.
The Italian side from my Mom would come out through her cooking, passion for life, and loud way of talking. My friends said they could her my Mom “talking” to me all the way done the street! So if you weren’t used to people being loud when they talked and you came into my house you might think we were always yelling!
My Dad’s Polish side was more subtle but it would also come out if you knew what to look for. Polish people love to talk, but they have a habit of repeating things over and over again. My Polish Grandma would tell her same stories over and over again, not just because she was old and a grandma, but because that’s what my Polish family would do at events- tell the same stories over and over again. Sometimes my Dad would repeat himself 3x and then say, “No let me tell you in Polish.” Which just meant he was going to say again, but in a different way. So if you came into my house and heard us talking, you might think we all needed hearing aids and lessons on comprehension- but that’s just the way we were in our home.
King Solomon in the above proverb gives the test to whether or not you will feel at home among the wise. The way you can know if you fit right in is whether or not you can listen to life-giving rebukes. Solomon uses the image of people sitting around in a house sharing life-giving rebukes with each other and no one gets offended, because the wise love to listen to life-giving rebukes for the wisdom they bring.
This is similar to the concept found later in proverbs called, “iron sharping iron.” Life giving rebukes are advice and instruction giving with passion. They are more than just suggestions and they’re not negotiable- without compromise, but their benefit is worth receiving them as is. Though they may seem harsh or too personal to an outsider but to the wise life-giving rebukes make them feel right at home!
- Repent of any wrong attitudes of pride you may have had towards rebukes.
- When being giving a rebuke from trusted friends and leaders receive it with joy.
- Share some life-giving rebukes with your brothers and sisters!