032: Responding with Reproof


What You'll Discover in this Episode:

We live in a culture that walks on eggshells. We are sometimes afraid to correct someone because of the backlash we might receive. The world continues to spin out of moral control and it seems as though everything is permissible. However, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are not called to be like the rest of the world. That means that there is going to come a time when we need to reprove someone and help correct their sinful action or there may be a time when we need to be corrected of our sinful actions. Either way, reproof is necessary to grow in our relationship with God. 

We must examine what our response might be if we are confronted reproof. There are several responses that are brought up in this episode about the improper response to reproof. One should never reject reproof, we must examine our lives to see if there is any truth to what is being brought to our attention and we must accept the reproof. There should not be a time when we ignore reproof, someone is going out of their way to help us grow and we should not ignore that individual. There is a punishment that comes with forsaking, rejecting, or ignoring reproof. If we think of ourselves as having no sin we are making God a liar. There must be self-examination taking place, the book of Proverbs tells us that there may be punished if we choose to ignore that reproof. 

 

As you listen to this podcast you will hear Pastor Jeff and Dr. Alfred talk about the proper response to reproof. The proper response is love. When you correct someone it is because you love them. If someone is correcting you it is because someone loves you. We are called to stir one another up, we are called to refine each other. This is the proper response to reproof, it is to be kind and loving. How will you respond when reproof is necessary?

  


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Highlights from Pastor Jeff and Dr. Justin Alfred

  • The wrong way to respond to reproof or correction is to not accept counseling. If you choose to not accept reproof or counseling, you are failing to recognize the error of your way.   
  • Another wrong way to accept reproof or correction is to forsake counsel. If you choose to ignore or abandon reproof you are not abiding by the Word of God.  
  • There is a punishment that will take place if you choose to ignore reproof. Spiritual death can be a result if you believe yourself to not be in sin. 
  • The proper response to reproof is one of love. If you offer correction it is because you truly love the individual and if you are being reproved you should respond with love for that individual that is willing to help you spiritually grow.  

Resources:

  • Proverbs 1:30 They would have none of my counsel
                            And despised my every rebuke.
  • Proverbs 10:17 He who keeps instruction is in the way of life,
                              But he who refuses correction goes astray. 
  • Proverbs 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
                              Than a fatted calf with hatred.
  • Proverbs 9:8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
                           Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 
  • Proverbs 18: 13 He who covers his sins will not prosper,
                               But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. 
  • Romans 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 
  • Galatians 6: 1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted
  • 2 Timothy 2:23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 

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  • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

    Great Podcast by Pastor Jeff and Dr. Justin Alfred on ‘responding to reproof’; the proper response & the wrong response. As Christians, we are admonished to embrace reproofs; Proverbs 1:30, 10:17 (NASB).
    Dr. Albert elaborated the truth in John 6:44, explaining that God has to draw us, even drag us by the power of the Holy Spirit to the place of brokenness, confession of sins, repentance from sins & then we call on to Jesus to come into our lives to be our Lord & Savior.
    He continued his teaching from Hebrews 12:4-11, admonishing that because God deals with us as with sons in correcting/ reproving us.
    A person that continually forsakes instructions, doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ & so they are refusing, rebelling, rejecting, doing everything they can against reproof; & so they will basically go astray, ending up in destruction.
    We could be reproved by God in the Word, by conviction of sin, righteousness & judgement by the Holy Spirit in our hearts but there can be situations when we are reproved by another brother & sometimes, we can spurn or be foolish in our response, never wanting the hard heart but sometimes do. As we listen to this Podcast, we must heed to instructions, love reproofs to be on the path of life.
    I recall that spurning Godly instructions from my parents almost costed me my life but at about that time, I experienced the saving grace of God. We should walk right with God in the first place to have the right attitude to reproof (Proverbs 10:17, Romans 6-8, 2Timothy 3:16-4:2, Philippians 2:5).

    • Autumn Duncan says:

      Great information you listed above! It’s a heart change as believers so we can grow and learn to be transformed more into the image of Christ. Thank goodness our Heavenly Father loves us so much to want us to be on His path! 🙂

    • Neil says:

      Hi Esther, thank you for your comments and insights. I really appreciate your statement: “We could be reproved by God in the Word, by conviction of sin, righteousness & judgement by the Holy Spirit in our hearts but there can be situations when we are reproved by another brother & sometimes, we can spurn or be foolish in our response, never wanting the hard heart but sometimes do. As we listen to this Podcast, we must heed to instructions, love reproofs to be on the path of life.”

      I’ve heard it said that the problem isn’t that God is silent or that He’s not speaking, but often the problem is we aren’t listening and responding. Thx for your post!

    • Tom Zimbelman says:

      Esther,

      This was a great recap of the podcast. There was so much truth in this conversation between Pastor Jeff and Dr. Justin Alfred. Truth doesn’t always feel good at first, but it leads to a right relationship with God if we heed the truth, and in the end there is great joy and blessing.

      Isn’t that great how God continues to pursue us? He used your parents to plant seeds in you and continued to follow up until you came to the Lord. Praise God.

  • Tom Zimbelman says:

    I loved how Dr. Justin expounded on the various words in these passages to help amplify the text – words and phrases like “spurned” and “would not accept my counsel” and their sense in Hebrew. For example, Justin says “would not accept” means “they are unwilling” – it is something they are totally against, and “spurned” in effect means “revile” – it reveals a person’s character in these matters, totally unwilling to receive and essentially hating any type of correction.

    This brings so much clarity to these various passages on the importance of being humble enough to accept correction. God loves us and would prefer we accept the correction of others before He needs to take more drastic measures.

    I really enjoy Dr. Justin’s teaching, I’ve sat underneath him at times in the early 2000’s. He is passionate about Christ and puts His Word at the center of his life. I remember Justin speaking about all the opportunities we have to meditate on the Word (he would do it between sets at the gym, for example). We need the continual instruction of our Lord through Scripture and the Holy Spirit.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks Tom for your highlights concerning this week’s phenomenal Podcast, especially in Dr. Justin’s explanation on ‘“would not accept”, meaning “they are unwilling”’. I totally agree with the teaching, recalling to my mind; the Word of the Lord in Isaiah 1:19 (If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;).
      As Christians, we must be willing and have the good attitude, even to the reproofs of God & Godly men/ women.

    • Alyssa says:

      I agree with what you have stated. Being able to go to the original language and wee what was said helps bring clarification to us today on what the Lord intended for us to know or understand. While it Is not detrimental to our faith if we do not fully understand the Hebrew language and all the intricacies of that language, it still is a tool that equips us to better understand the heart o our Savior.

  • Autumn Duncan says:

    Thank you for another amazing podcast, Pastor Jeff and Dr. Justin Alfred on how to respond to reproof, the proper response & the wrong responses. The statement that really resonated with me is having a discussion with a believer who is walking with the Lord as the two different approaches with someone who seeks redirection verse someone who doesn’t receive reproof. As Dr. Alfred mentioned in Romans 8 where we should have the ongoing lifestyle who hears wisdom and direction. I agree no one likes discipline from the Lord but it’s a time to learn and grow. I have appreciated the growth the Lord has done in my life and pray that I will listen to Him before being disciplined again. However, if not I want to have an open heart to grown and learn from our Heavenly Father who loves us!

    • Steve G says:

      I agree we need to have the proper perspective. The proper response to reproof is one of love. If you offer correction it is because you truly love the individual and if you are being reproved you should respond with love for that individual that is willing to help you spiritually grow. Proverbs 18:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. 2Tim 2:24-26 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility (gentleness) correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance (change of mind, understanding), so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. I too, want to have an open heart to grown and learn from our Heavenly Father who loves us!

  • Neil says:

    As a parent of five children under the age of eleven, I find that I often have to correct/reprove my children. It can be something as simple as trying to help my toddler understand that it’s not okay to throw food or as challenging as navigating pre-teen waters with my oldest daughter. But, it is always my hope & prayer that my correction/reproof is done in love and for their benefit. . . and that they would respond, and respond well to it. That’s the goal… I want to help them, not hurt them.

    Pastor Jeff & Dr. Justin Alfred highlight that to not accept or to ignore correction/reproof the simply the wrong response. If you choose to 
forsake counsel or to ignore/abandon reproof you are not abiding by the Word of God; which can lead to dire consequences in your life.

    Also, when you are the one giving correction/reproof the motivation must be a love for the individual and when you are the one being corrected/reproved you should respond with love for that individual that is willing to help you spiritually grow.  

    Proverbs 10:17 “he who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.”

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks Neil on the practical approach to this week’s Podcast; relating it to our regular corrections/ reproofs as parents in the lives of our children.
      As Godly parents, when we reproof our children, we expect them to take heed to our instructions and become all that God has ordained them to be.
      A good example of a father that instructed his son is king David that instructed Solomon concerning how he will be established on the throne and Solomon almost missed it when he spurned his father’s instructions (1 Kings 1-11, Proverbs 10:17).

    • Alyssa says:

      I think that is a good point as well that we should not ignore correction or reproof. I think a key factor in our accepting response or not accepting it has to do with our pride. So often when people tell us we are doing something wrong, we think what gives that person the right to tell me that I am doing something wrong, but instead of having that mindset, if we are humble and teachable, then God is able to mold us and use us.

    • Hannah Somerville says:

      That is a great analogy. As with children, we should try to help and not hurt those who we are wanting to know the truth in Jesus. A humble teaching approach really keeps us from coming in anger or communicating a message that is not representing who He is. Thank you for sharing this, it paints a very helpful picture in how we can help bring others along by the grace of God.

      To reprove someone or accept reproof ourselves, is a life giving concept, and it really keeps us all in a humble – hearted position. As you said, it Is all, or rather should be all, out of a heart of love whether giving or receiving reproof. Great input!

  • pablo Valdez Acosta says:

    In awe of how God is listening and guiding us to be in the body of Christ. Our hearts and motives definitely play a big part on how the conversation with a brother or sister in Christ will be received. Trying to prove our rightness will cause us to fail and a argument will ensue. But also we have to learn which “fights” we should put up with, arguing with a fool causes us to fall into foolishness. We need to begin in evangelizing with those who have not come to Jesus
    I just always have a good take away.
    In my work I had to learn how to approach a sister in Christ every time we had an encounter she felt that I was to abrasive, I have tried to be fluffy but had no results, tried to be a friend only to be talked behind my back. I had to step back and pray to be given counsel as to what she is going through so I can understand why she feels attacked when everyone else did not.
    Her personal life affected work just like any one of us but in her case jealousy was greater and she did not realize I was training her to be my second in command so to speak. that was not told to her and I had assumed admin did.
    By being passive I was sinning
    By being unloving I was sinning
    I had a daughter of God suffering and I was choosing to ignore.
    We are now working towards loving each other and being a support team

    Thank you for the reminder to always have a heart check

  • Hannah Somerville says:

    Thank you Jeff and Dr. Alfred. This was a great topic. I found it to be both challenging and encouraging . A true word of exhortation.

    We are called to lovingly reprove one another as well as humbly accept reproof.

    Our culture often takes correction negatively, even in the Christian circle.
    As the summary of the podcast mentions : “We get a lot of flack for backlash when we reprove,” but we should not be afraid of it ,because , this is how we are trained in righteousness.

    I publicly confess that I have shied away from this. Many times because I was afraid of the backlash that would be returned if I spoke up, but now I see it isn’t my allowing the word to reprove that is wrong , but the hard heart on which it falls. Of course it is my responsibility to do it gently and in love, but I cannot be afraid of how one will respond.

    We need to be holding each other accountable. I believe if we did this more, we would actually have softer hearts that are more ready and willing to change at any point.

    I really glean from the following sentences mentioned in the excerpt titled “what you’ll discover in this episode”: “One should never reject reproof, we must examine our lives to see if there is any truth to what is being brought to our attention and we must accept the reproof. There should not be a time when we ignore reproof, someone is going out of their was to help us grown and we should not ignore that individual.”

    We should have a view that we are always in need of correction.

    • Autumn Duncan says:

      Hannah, I couldn’t agree with you more about that people take correction negatively. I think it’s part of our pride. I have found that people don’t want to hear other suggestions and can’t understand that sometimes we are sharing with them something so they can grow and learn. After teaching for 17 years and mentoring other teachers, I found the greatest teachers are ones that want to learn and grown; which made me reflect on this as I listened to the podcast as we grow closer to the Lord when we are redirected. I am thankful for all the times, I had a friend help me understand things better and I was ope to learning something that I may need to change in a situation. Yes, we are always in need of correction and guidance! 🙂

    • Neil says:

      Hi Hannah, thanks for your honest post! I really appreciated your statement about being one to offer correction… you said, “I publicly confess that I have shied away from this. Many times because I was afraid of the backlash that would be returned if I spoke up, but now I see it isn’t my allowing the word to reprove that is wrong , but the hard heart on which it falls. Of course it is my responsibility to do it gently and in love, but I cannot be afraid of how one will respond.”

      This is so true… all we can do is control the things we can, and trust God with the things we can’t. We can control how we respond, but we can’t control how others do.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks Hannah. I agree with you that we are called to rebuke/ reproof one another in love and humility as evident in the Podcast and from Scriptures.
      Galatians 6:1-3 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
      Hebrews 12:7-8 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

    • Steve G says:

      Good point we can glean from reproof. Pastor Jeff and Dr. Alfred talk about the proper response to reproof. The proper response is love. When you correct someone it is because you love them. Generally speaking if someone is correcting you it is because someone loves you. We are called to stir one another up, we are called to refine each other. This is the proper response to reproof, it is to be kind and loving. How will you respond when reproof is necessary? The wrong way to respond to reproof or correction is to not accept discipleship and counseling. If you choose to not accept reproof or counseling, you are failing to recognize the error of your way. Another wrong way to accept reproof or correction is to forsake counsel. If you choose to ignore or abandon reproof you are not abiding by the Word of God. There is a punishment that will take place if you choose to ignore reproof. Spiritual decline can be a result if you believe yourself to not be in sin. May we not ignore reproof as you suggested.

  • Gregory Nelson says:

    A couple of the main things that I got from this week’s podcast, is that, one, I should probably learn Greek, and Hebrew, so that I can better understand the word of God, and two, A person who continually rejects reproof in his or her lifestyle and says that they are a believer, probably was not actually a believer in the first place. On the other hand, the word of God says that whoever takes hold of instruction will find success, and he will be blessed. Proverbs 16:20 (NIV) “20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”

    • Tom Zimbelman says:

      Hi Gregory,
      Yeah, I was amazed at the deeper meanings of the words in the Hebrew language versus the plain English word, it brings so much more into the text. I kind of felt the same way, I would like to learn Hebrew and Greek. Also, very important note on the man of God loving wisdom and accepting reproof, it will lead to success. Amen

  • Steve G says:

    Wow these 3 Proverbs are powerful truths what great insights:
    Pro 1:30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. This is speaking of an unsaved person, this person needs to prayed over and evangelized it hope 2 Tim 2:25-26 in humility (gentleness) correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance (change of mind, understanding), so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
    Pro 15:10 Harsh (grievous) discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates (Justin says to violently hate) correction (reproof) will die. When a man or woman departs from God’s path (the way), in mercy God will send them harsh discipline. This discipline is a warning and opportunity to change one’s ways. If they do not change the most likely are not believers but sometimes only God knows, so you can give them any assurance of salvation we must preach the gospel to them.
    Proverbs 9:8 Do not correct (reprove, Justin said will not save Him! Only Jesus can save them) a scoffer (Justin says continually lives in a state of mocking), lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. A wise person must try to come to understand if they are a believer or not and deal with them accordingly or not? The scriptures declare it can be foolish to to rebuke a mocker.

    • Hannah Somerville says:

      Thank you for sharing Steve! Great use of these verses. You are so right these verses really show us that by having none of God’s way leads to hell and destruction, conversely when we follow God’s way and his word there is blessing and abundant live, Heaven! Another verse used in the discussion was Matthew 7:6, ” do not cast your pearl before swine.” This goes along with what you said, that those who are not willing to listen, it may not be wise for us to even waste all our energy. Yet, we should still pray for them and entrust them to Jesus, they are not too big of a project for him! I think we should always hope for them strongly as long as they have life on this Earth.

  • April Robbins says:

    This always such a good reminder to me as to where I am in my walk. When I am full of self, I don’t want to listen to correction, and life just gets harder as the Lord is letting me feel the pressure of being disobedient. When I am denying self, I see that the reproof that friends are offering me are for my good. Not that I have to surrender to everything people tell me, but only what I know to be true from the Lord. We are to test the advice given thru the Word and the Spirit. I think the most humbling time is when I get admonished by a non believer, and love how much more sometimes the Lord uses them to check me up like Joab and David.

  • Bill says:

    Reproof is a difficult treatment to administer, there are several things that I find must be emphasized prior to delivering reproof:
    1. We must pray and be led by the Spirit even as we speak.
    2. We must insure the atmosphere/circumstances are one of love and caring, not accusatory or condemning and or judgmental.
    3. We must insure that our reproof is wrapped in love and concern for the person. God will do the judging, we are called to point out the error in our brother or sister’s ways by showing them the scriptural rebuke.
    The versed listed outline these conditions and we must remember we are representing Jesus when we reprove or correct someone and we must emulate how He would handle the situation in the way of delivery, concern and illustration of the desired Biblical response.

  • Alyssa says:

    Thank you for covering this topic and exhorting us in this way. I think this is something that is easy to know in the head, however harder to live out. No one likes being corrected, and I believe not too many people like correcting others out of fear of resentment, looking judgmental, or wanting to avoid conflict. I think it is a great reminder that we need to be accepting reproof, but also willing to give reproof as the Lord leads us to. I think one of the most important things to remember and was pointed out in this podcast is that reproof needs to be done in love towards others. When I love someone, I don’t want to see them continue to go down a path that might hurt them or those around them, and at the same time, I know if someone loves me, that they are not trying to make me feel stupid or inadequate but are trying to help me. Keeping these things in mind is what will give us a more biblical and godly perspective on reproof.

  • David Guzik says:

    I found it interesting in this week’s podcast that in many cases, when Justin Alfred brought some light regarding the original words and languages, the emphasis in the verbs was “continual.” In other words, in Proverbs 10:17 the idea is to continually reject reproof, and to continually receive, retain, and to observe instruction. I just found it interesting that how often the emphasis is on the continuing aspect of a positive or a negative action.

  • Josh Halan says:

    We live in a culture that is offended by almost everything. The world continues to make every kind of sin, acceptable. we know we are called to be sperate from the world. We must examine the way we respond and confront. We must examine our lives constantly for sin. The proper response is always love. We must not fail to recognize the error in our lives, and continually abide in the Word. if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing in life. Love is patient and kind, It does not demand its own way. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (I Cor 13-14)

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