Proverbs Day Seventeen | Handling a trustworthy rebuke

A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool. Proverbs 17v10 (NLT)

How do I respond to feedback from a trusted friend? I think it has to be a trusted friend – one who has deposited more into our friendship than withdrawn.

Over the years, particularly as a church leader, I have ‘deposited’ numerous times into other people only to have them respond badly to the first or second relationship ‘withdrawal’ I make. I have also experienced people approaching me with an immediate ‘withdrawal’ attitude, perhaps thinking I can take it or deserve it.

However, I have also had trusted proven friends speak “hard” words in my life. When they do, I am immediately listening. Not because I like what I hear, but because I know they are for me. Their agenda is for my good. If you find someone who is for your good, then listen well even when it is tough.

So I answer the original question above by saying that it should leave a lasting impression that I never forget. It should do more for me than I ever expected. It should humble me. It will probably hurt me. It should help me understand who I am and how I appear to others. It should cause me to reflect deeply, ask questions and where needed clarify what I should do to change. It should not take years and years of being told the same thing over and over by numerous people before I realise the issue.

As for my friend – I should thank him or her for their kindness, love, courage and honesty. I welcome that kind of friendship. It is good for my soul.

A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool. Proverbs 17v10 (ESV)

Robin

About Robin

Robin has been involved in senior leadership within churches in the Newfrontiers family for over 10 years. Together with his wife Hannah, they helped start a church in Birmingham, before starting another one in Bromsgrove. Their family moved to Swansea in 2011 to start The Hill.