Proverb 9: 1-12. When we are criticised, there is no point in replying to those who are merely mocking us (v.7). If we do they will hate us even more. But it is worth replying to the ‘wise’.
Our response to criticism should never be to ‘insult’, ‘abuse’ or ‘hate’ (v.7–8). Rather, we must learn from it in order to become ‘wiser’ and to ‘add to [our] learning’ (v.9). Indeed, our response to a rebuke should be increased ‘love’
This is far from easy – our natural reaction to criticism is often to lash out, or try and justify ourselves. Yet the wise path is to seek to learn from the rebuke or instruction, however difficult that may be.
For example, I have noticed over the years that those speakers who do not like their talks criticised seldom improve. Those who invite constructive criticism and are not threatened by it often improve rapidly and become far more effective. A right relationship with God will increase your wisdom (v.10), and enable you to hear constructive criticism and grow through it.
Lord, give me wisdom to be constructive when I give criticism and gracious when I receive it.
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