Home is Where the Heart is
“One who listens to life-giving rebukes will be at home among the wise.”
I think it is helpful in this verse to distinguish between “hearing and listening” and “life-giving and deadly rebukes.”
Hearing vs. Listening
A person might be hearing but not listening; however, a person who listens is always hearing. A “Hearer” might know someone is talking to them, but they are not paying attention. They hear sounds but it doesn’t compute. This has virtually nothing to do with ability but most often desire. A “Listener” hears and has the intent and desire to obey what they are hearing. They consider what is being said to them.
Life-giving vs. deadly Rebukes
Rebukes are corrections. Often times, and unfortunately I must add, we associate rebukes with something negative. It is true that rebukes often point to a negative behavior or thought, but they are given with the intention of bringing good. We know 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.” If God’s Word is for our good and “rebuking” is a part of that, then it must be good when applied correctly. This seems to be the distinguishing factor between life-giving and deadly rebukes. One rebuke is intended to help me, make me more like my Savior Jesus Christ. The other rebuke is attempting to hurt me.
I want to be the one described in this verse. I want to be “listening” to wise people around me who might see a flaw in me, who then proceed to give me “life-giving” correction. Praise God for those people around us who care about their own walk with the Lord (Love God) and then love me enough to help me (Love Neighbor). God’s put them in my life for my good and His glory!
This is a video clip from John Piper teaching about wisdom. If you have time, enjoy.