A Listening Ear

For Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Proverbs 25:12

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

The key term here is "listening." Let the reprover be wise, but if the listener is not listening, then it will be to no avail, except in the future to serve as a reproach for not heeding. Most of us, most of the time, do not listen well to reproof. For receiving reproof as gold, we are offended by it. We quickly judge the reprover to be mean or ignorant, certainly not sensitive to our feelings.

Response to reproof shows the condition of our heart. For if we desire above all else to be pleasing to God and to be following his will, then we will welcome any reproof that alerts us to our error and puts us back on the right track. If our destination was one city, but we were heading in the wrong direction, and someone yelled to us we were going the wrong way, we would thank him for saving us from a great inconvenience. How then should we react when someone points out a moral or spiritual error?

But how stubborn we can be. We will reject the reproof of person after person, even elder after elder, claiming all the while we are right before God. We alone know what God is saying. Be aware. Some day we must appear before God, and he will ask where are the gold rings and ornaments he graciously sent to us through our brothers and sisters. Learn now to listen and to value wise reproof.