Why not listen to some music 🙂
In all honesty, I don’t like being wrong… but I’m pretty accepting of the fact that I can be because I’m definitely not the brightest bulb. When I am wrong, either I hold on to my stubbornness a tinge bit longer, or I just calmly try to get over my embarrassment. Though, I do know there are those who hate being wrong so much they turn a complete blind eye!
My stubbornness arises especially when it comes to my Mum for some reason. I can recall many situations that I try to ‘argue my case’. Of course there will be times I’m wrong or mistaken, but when I actually realize it takes me some time to cool off so I might still ‘rebuke’ or rather ‘complain’. Depending on what it is I was wrong about… I get pretty embarrassed!
Today’s Bible In One Year written by Nicky Gumbel (click here) [which is literally the bible in one year plus commentary. You get psalms/proverbs, New Testament and Old Testament combined. This combination for me at least really helps] is about rebuke and the title is ‘Refining Fire‘.
I had that crazy eye-opening or really eye-enlarging moment and wanted to share what amazed me. I want to talk about:
- What’s a rebuke what it should be like in the biblical sense — (as demonstrated in the bible) Psalm 141:5 + how (hands, lips, heart, eyes)
- Revelation 3:19-20 — Why is there rebuke? Our response? Revelation 3:16-18
- Having an open heart and mind… oh and how difficult it is!
The definition to rebuke in the dictionary is:
- (verb) to express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behaviour or actions.
It’s origin was in the sense to ‘force back, repress’; from re- ‘back, down’ & bukier ‘to beat’.
Now to rebuke someone sounds quite harsh. However, the definition to rebuke in King James Dictionary includes to reprimand; strongly warn and restrain. There’s this sense of care (in terms of the biblical meaning) due to ‘warning’.
Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.
If the ‘rebuke’ was coming from someone who’s righteous with good intentions, that would be as soothing as ‘oil on my head’. It’s an act out of love. Like a Mother warning her child not to play with fire. We need to have the “lifting up of [our] hands be like the evening sacrifice“; to “set a guard over [our] mouth”, to “not let [our] heart[s] be drawn to what is evil” and have “[our] eyes .. fixed on [Him]“.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
This is why we are sometimes rebuked by God, because he wants the best for us. The hope he has for us springs from the essence of who He really is. Having a meal together with Him is something intimate, accepting someone in their lives and home. Revealing insecurities.
However, why should we listen? Why can’t we be ‘open-minded’, after all God is just putting restrictions and limiting our human capabilities. This is a more secular take. — Sorry but what part of God’s capabilities makes our human capabilities better? Then how can we say there is God if He isn’t greater than us?
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
I used to be lukewarm… that was when God gave me my major kick. God wants us to make our decision, either we are in his family or not.
I believe having an open mind and open heart is difficult. After all, some people only see what they want to see and not the whole picture. Therefore I believe having an open heart and mind means seeking earnestly. It means that we should arrive at a conclusion after examining all the evidence. We should all be skeptical and not give up caring about our life, people and this amazing world.
It is so difficult to truly follow God because there’s the world, secularism and media influence. We are taken into the world and affected in some way. It is controlling and if we aren’t careful it can distort our senses of right and wrong. No one sees the point that all the trivial things in life matter… and people wonder what is wrong with whatever it is they are doing. A gesture of kindness goes a long way. That one time you restrained and didn’t argue back. To listen instead of fight. It’s a rolling snowball of a change.