The Bible is not short on instructions for how Christians should live their lives. The Bible is also a wealth of teachings from King Solomon, who is regarded as the wisest person in the Bible. When the Lord questioned him about what he desired from God, he responded by asking for wisdom. In response, the Lord granted his request and also gave him a heart so perceptive that no one else was like him. When one considers that the wisdom of Solomon is a gift from God, it should be helpful for Christians to heed to such wisdom. What does the Bible say about how wise men should respond when they are being corrected?
In Proverbs 9:7-8, it says that anyone who corrects a mocker invites insults; anyone who rebukes a wicked person incurs abuse; and anyone who rebukes mockers will be hated by those mockers. However, if you were to correct the actions of a wise man, he would love you.
In the Bible, there are three categories of people referenced in the aforementioned scripture: those who mock, those who are wicked, and those who are wise. It has already been established that if you correct a person who is being mocked or acting wickedly, there will be no positive results, because you will only be insulted, abused, or hated as a result of your actions. Even if you have the best intentions when you try to correct these people, they will not see it that way and will instead hold it against you. On the other hand, people who are wise are eager to receive constructive criticism because they are aware that this type of feedback is intended for their own improvement and, as a result, is advantageous for them. When we are corrected, we learn as a result, but you can either accept that correction in a negative or positive way. Wise people look at it positively, and they will love you for it. It is therefore abundantly clear that correcting a wise man, as opposed to a mocker or a wicked man, is preferable.
As Christians, we do not stop there and limit our choices by selecting only those individuals who are wise to rebuke. In the book of Luke 10:30-37, there is a story about a Good Samaritan who helped an injured man by the side of the road without hesitation. In the same way, we should not choose the people we cater to if they are in need of assistance. Even if they are challenging, we still need to show our brotherly affection and rebuke them if they did wrong. We must demonstrate the selflessness and willingness to help others, as shown by the good Samaritan. It is written in Luke 19:10 that the Son of Man has come to seek and save those who have lost their way. We are then reminded that, even if some people appear to be difficult and are too much for us to handle, we should not easily give up on them. Rather, like the good Samaritan, we must act with compassion for them.
In addition, Matthew 28:18–20, which is found in the Great Commission that has been given to us, reminds us: “I have been given complete authority over everything in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go into the world and make disciples of people from every nation. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you to do.”
Those that love corrections are considered wise and are easy to handle, but we do not stop there and cater to them alone. As Christians, we are duty-bound to tell others of the love of Christ. Even if we get mocked or are insulted or hated, we have to press on. It will be a beautiful thing if, at the end of our race, God tells us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant; come enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:21).