Benefiting From Reproof Prov. 25: 12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Reproof that is beneficial is like “an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold,” [Prov 25:12]. For reproof to be beneficial there must be a wise reprover and the one being reproved must have an obedient ear. There are two elements here. For you to benefit from reproof, your reprover must be wise and you must obey.
A wise reprover.
The Holy Spirit is a wise reprover – Jn 16:8 the Holy Spirit reproves the world. So, don’t grieve him [Eph 4:30]. Don’t quench him [1 Thes 5:19]. Follow him [Rom 8:14]. Be filled with the Spirit [Eph 5:18].
The scripture is a wise reprover – 2 Tim 3:16 scripture that is given by inspiration of God is profitable for reproof. So, read the Bible and listen to what God is telling you. And then do what he says. Bob Jones, Sr. said, “This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.”
Your preacher should be a wise reprover – 2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word, reprove, rebuke… Unfortunately many preachers are afraid to reprove. And so they have started teaching instead of preaching. Others are concerned with numbers, whether they will admit it or not, and so they won’t reprove because most people won’t endure sound doctrine today [2 Tim 4:3-4]. And these preachers are trying to keep a crowd. But if your preacher is still preaching reproof, then listen to what God is telling you through his preaching. Take it, even if it seems harsh to you. An old evangelist told a young preacher, “You preach the word and let the word preach to the people.”
Your friends should be wise reprovers – Eph 5:11, 13 we are to reprove the works of darkness. There should be enough light in you that you should be a wise reprover to others. Furthermore, you ought to be uncomfortable around your godly friends if you ever get involved in the works of darkness. Your godly friends are a good influence on your life. They help you stay away from the unfruitful works of darkness.
An obedient ear.
According to Prov 15:31-32 “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise… (and) getteth understanding.” He stays among the wise and he learns from them.
You will see backsliders ease out of church and out of fellowship with their godly friends. The reproof is too much for them to take. According to Jn 3:20, an evil man won’t come to the light because he doesn’t want his deeds to be reproved. He will despise reproof [Prov 1:30] and he will hate the reprover [Prov 9:8]. I’ve seen this many times. He’ll say, “I think the preacher and the people at church hate me.” What he won’t admit is that he hates the preacher because the preacher reproved him.
When you hear reproof, you should take it and turn from your doings. According to Prov 1:23, reproof is to turn you. Granted, reproof is easier to take from the Spirit and from the word than it is from a preacher or a friend. But sometimes you are just going to have to hear it from the preacher or from your friend. The word and the Spirit will certainly confirm what you hear. However, no matter how hard reproof is to take, take it and do it.
Conclusion: if you are a backslider, take this reproof and and turn back to God. If you are obedient, then endure the reproof of God’s Holy Spirit, God’s word, God’s preacher, and God’s people. They are a blessing to you. You’ll see down the road. By benefiting from reproof, you will be honored rather than ashamed [Prov 13:18].