August 9 – Choose Careful Correction

“Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” – Proverbs 9:8-9 (ESV)

A worthy saying is, “Be carful to pick your battles.” This applies to us in so many ways. Whom do we know that needs some help or instruction in how to cope with the many challenges of life? We all make mistakes due to our ignorance or lack of understanding. Thus we all need help to learn better ways to manage. Certainly there are many that might come to mind. When they do, it is a smart thing to consider who we might reprimand for their own good as well as others.  Will they receive the correction or reproof or will their reply be only to scoff and jeer? There is a danger in trying to reprove a wicked person and we might be better forgoing the effort. Yet, for those who are wise our effort to help might be appreciated and they thank us. Plus when we’re receiving such instruction from a brother or sister we can know that it will improve our life⸺if we take it to heart. Don’t we desire to be wise and righteous even when receiving correction? Such correction will only lead to our better understanding and from it we gain more wisdom.  

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June 24 – With Truth Comes Acid

“Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.” Job 22:21-22 (ESV)

The story of Job in the Bible is not one many really know very well. We might know of Job’s trials, losses and why. We might even have a clue about three friends who fail to understand and so missed the mark when trying to offer help. Instead of comfort counselors they were accusers. But in all that is said to Job, there are many interesting and valuable bits of advice. Eliphaz, the third and at first silent friend, is at first courteous, but in chapter 22 his frustration rises. Again, the fate of the wicked is expressed in the simplistic idea that all suffering comes from sin. Eliphaz did not believe Job was innocent and so painted a picture of the life of blessing in store for Job if only he would return to God and repent of his sin (v. 23). Out of this bit of acidic advice from his “friend” there is a truth. In order to properly “agree with God, and be at peace,” we must know Him as He has revealed Himself. In order to know God, God must know us as His own. That is how we truly know peace from Him.

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