On Sunday my pastor, Ryan Fullerton, relayed the five stages of responses to rebuke.
- Hate it
- Tolerate it
- Accept it
- Receive it
- Welcome it
Everyone starts at step one, and if God permits, progresses from there. But this progress does not come automatically as if you fly over steps 2-4 once you become a Christian.
Rather it takes practice in a community setting.
The only way to become seasoned in this is to make yourself available in a culture of “openness” where encouragements and rebukes come regularly from loving friends. We all start at hating it, but as our minds are transformed by beholding Jesus Christ, we may grow to accept it and receive these rebukes as gifts. Those who have been rebuked the most will grow the most in receiving this feedback.
The bottom line is put yourself in a community where faithful friends will “strike you” with kindness.
Scripture Passages on Rebuke
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it.
A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise
than to hear the song of fools.