No one likes to be rebuked, even when they deserve it, isn’t that right? In the moment, it seems like we are being beaten up emotionally; our heart feels tight, our face turns red, we don’t know where to look at, and if we look down to the ground our humiliation seems even more visible. We feel like defending ourselves immediately, after all, it is not our intention to make such big mistakes; but when we justify ourselves we end up hurting ourselves even more in front of the one reprimanding us… they’ll see it as if we did not accept correction, when in reality, all we wanted to do was just be understood.
Alright, so what? What’s the point of having them understand our mistakes? Do you know what happens with someone who avoids correction? This person becomes an easy prey for deception.
I was reading the book of Hebrews this weekend and a passage that spoke about the rebuke is what stood out to me:
But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13
Definition of Exhort
Verb: To urge, advice, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently. The president exhorted the army to enter the borough. Verb: To give urgent advice, recommendations, or warnings. I exhorted the students to think according to their thoughts.
To me, exhorting is not only what the dictionary says, but it is also rebuke, how will you motivate someone who does not want your advice? Or how will you warn someone who is in the wrong? Sometimes, to exhort someone, we need to rebuke and according to the passage, it’s necessary to go through this every day! 😮
Imagine if you had to be exhorted every day? Normally, when this happens, a person thinks they’re being rejected, despised, not liked by anyone, feels like everyone is gaining up on her, that everyone wants to see her give up, or that she isn’t strong enough… but, are these things true?
Think with me. Who would you motivate and rebuke: someone you want to help improve or someone who doesn’t make the difference for you? The answer is obvious! I, particularly, exhort everyone, but with some people, I breathe down their neck, lol! One of them is my sister, poor thing! She is used to it though. 🙂 Some of my closest friends are also exhorted more often than not… Even all of you are exhorted too, right? HAHAHA… and it’s done here on this blog, through the Godllywood Self Help Meetings, in the Love Therapy, The Love School… very well, see how exhortation does us good!
Exhortation doesn’t just help us better as a person but also helps us bulletproof ourselves against the deceit of sin, in other words, when no one exhorts us, we are easily deceived by our human nature, which as you know is corrupt.
I remember that one time I was exhorted (more like rebuked) by my father for crying uncontrollably due to a huge disappointment that I had with my son. All I remember that day was my father saying: STOP CRYING!!!! LOOK FORWARD!!!! ONE DAY YOU WILL STILL USE THIS STORY TO HELP OTHER MOMS!!!
On the outside, I only looked at him, but inside, it was as though he wasn’t feeling my pain, and as if I had no right to feel anything… it wasn’t easy. I obeyed, but the tears didn’t stop running down my face. Today, I see how my father was right and how that rebuke did good to me… but imagine if I had given myself to that pain? I would certainly enter depression without a doubt!
Friends, take advantage of the exhortations that sometimes come as rebukes too! Don’t hide from them, don’t run away; they make part of our personal growth. Sometimes, we are not able to see ourselves clearly and only someone from the outside can point out the hole in which we’re about to fall in…
One more reason for you to be diligent in going to church, for living your faith far from the House of God is practically spiritual suicide!