[…but he who ignores reproof…]
Quite frequently I’ll sit and eat my breakfast in the chair next to my husband’s desk. Unfortunately, I’ve also been known to leave my garbage behind–be it banana peels, wrappers, my bowl, or all of the forementioned. This is never done on purpose. (Honest.) However, my mind can be in the clouds. (Quite litterally.) Therefore, I’ve been known to up and vamoose without a second thought about the items that I’ve deposited on Andrew’s desk.
When I have a thought that I NEED to jot down, he likes to say, “Shiny thing!” (Yeah, yeah, shiny thing, she writes with a half smirk half “you pegged me, but it’s not fair” look.)
People Can Change (but not usually over night)
So one day Andrew says to the cats, “Oh, look girls, the Garbage Fairy has been again.” I have to say, as hillarious as this was, I don’t particularly enjoy being called a garbage anything. Therefore, when I failed to take my trash with me (repeatedly), and Andrew continued to announce that the Garbage Fairy had struck again, I plotted to remove this nickname from his repertoire. My plan? Take my rubbish with me. (Yeah, I AM logical. Unfortunately I’m also a mess.)
If only my parents had known this clever bit of child physchology (or wife phychology, as the case may be.) Perhaps, I would’ve kept my room clean. Probably not. I was a different kid back then; I didn’t know Jesus, and I wasn’t nearly as concerned with betterment.
Thankfully, God’s plan was always to bring us to full maturity in Jesus. If you’ve never read John MacArthur’s series on the disciple who Jesus called Peter (found here), I’m encouraging you to do so. It’s so worth it. Did you know that Jesus used the name Peter to address Simon when he was doing something commendable? However, when he needed correction, he’d address him by his birthname, Simon, to point out that he was acting like his old self. (Neither Andrew nor I had ever picked up on this.) This is an awesome revelation!
Grace and Forgiveness
There is so much more to Peter’s story. He, like all of us, had “character flaws.” Peter needed that reproof and correction to become the kind of leader that the Lord required of Him. We all need this fine tuning to be used for God’s service and glory.
I love stories like these because they are so relatable. We all do these things, and we don’t enjoy being called on them, but it’s never wise to ignore instruction or reproof.
Sometimes, however, we do things that God doesn’t approve of out ignorance, this is why Jesus was sent: To set the sinner free. It was foretold by the mouth of God’s prophets that Jesus would suffer, and this was fulfilled. (Acts 3:18) He died to redeem all who would recieve Him as their Lord (meaning master) and their Savior. It’s God’s grace that gives us that time to mature. However, we are not without His help; Those who believe in Jesus recieve the Holy Spirit who gives us all the help and direction we will need if we will heed Jesus’ instruction. (John 15:4)
Love Is God’s Answer
What about you? Do you accept reproof? Do you believe that Jesus has been given all authority over heaven and earth? Do you accept His instruction? (Mathew 28:16-20) Who or what masters you? (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. –Proverbs 15:32
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. —Acts 3:19-21
Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray. –Proverbs 10:17