When someone questions you or your actions, how do you respond? Your response may be an indicator of your wisdom. It’s not easy to do, yet I have found that when I am able to respond from wisdom and not emotion, the result is better for me by far…
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
I know some folks who respond to questions with offense. It’s not even defense. Do you know anyone like this? When they feel questioned, some people go on the offense. As a result, sometimes we are tempted to stop questioning even when we should.
Let’s look in the mirror, though. If we are wise and pursuing wisdom, when someone questions or rebukes or instructs us, we become wiser still. When we receive this interaction as a gift and not as an attack, we stand to gain in our development and wisdom.
When we reject and fight it, we lose. What do we risk losing? Credibility and relationship and honesty in our interactions with others.
Our interactions with others reflect our relationship with the Lord. If we have an awesome reverence (fear) for the Lord, it’s the beginning of our wisdom journey. And if we can accept the instruction and rebuke and questions of others in light of our relationship with God, we will profit.
What does this look like?
Well, rather than responding to the other person with attack or defense or offense, we could, instead, listen and then go to God. God, what are you saying to me through this? What is your counsel? What can I learn from you through the words of my friend?
I want to be as the wise one when people confront and question me. It’s not easy to do, yet I have found that when I am able to respond from wisdom and not emotion, the result is better for me by far…