06/18/15 The Rebuke of a Friend

READING: Proverbs 27-29

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I am reminded through the reading today that we do not live in isolation as believers. The writer of Proverbs, of course, speaks about people in general, but the practical wisdom of the proverbs can be illustrated through the local church body. God gives us brothers and sisters who walk beside us in this journey, and part of their task is to spur us on to good works (Hebrews 10:23-25).  

1. We need others who help sharpen us. Just as a file sharpens another iron instrument, brothers and sisters encourage us and challenge us to walk faithfully. In the process, all of us grow. 

Prov. 26:17  Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

2. Sharpening sometimes requires rebuke. The writer of Proverbs reminds us that the rebuke of a friend is actually good;  we are then pushed by someone who loves us to walk more faithfully.

Prov. 26:5-6a Better is an open reprimand than concealed love. The wounds of a friend are trustworthy . . .

Prov. 28:23 One who rebukes a person will later find more favor than one who flatters with his tongue.

3. We need trustworthy persons to whom we might confess our wrong. We are wise to admit our sin to someone else so we don't allow it to remain in the darkness. Confessing our sin and renouncing it are the essence of biblical repentance, and others can walk beside us in this process. 

Prov. 28:13  The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.

PRAYER: Pray that all of us would have trustworthy persons in our lives who love us enough to rebuke us — and that we would be wise enough to hear the rebuke, confess any sin, and turn to God. 

TOMORROW’S READING: Ecclesiastes 1-6



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