Proverbs 9:7-9 He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
One of the ways that we can measure our growth in grace and spiritual maturity is discovered by the way we receive correction. The proverbs tell us that when we are corrected, we either respond in love, or react in anger. When we respond in love, we grow. When we react in anger, we only harm ourselves. When we respond in love, our fellowship with others deepens, as we learned from what happened after Paul rebuked Peter. When we react in anger and lash out in self defense, not only do we harm ourselves, but we alienate ourselves from others. Every one of us is in need of correction from time to time. No exceptions. It is by receiving correction that we grow in The Lord and fellowship with one another.
At the root of reacting to correction in the flesh is pride. Pride is that fleshly entity that rejects any notion of the need to be corrected or change our way of thinking. Pride sees the “corrector” as someone who hates them or is out to get them. Granted, there are people like that, but they are not Spirit-filled, nor do they reflect the image of Jesus. God’s Word is filled with correction, rebuke, and instruction. If we are prone to react to correction from one another, are we really allowing God’s Word to correct us? Obeying Jesus is a wise thing to do (Matthew 7:24-27). Disobeying Him is disaster. One of the ways Jesus corrects us is through another person. When “the least of these My brethren” (Matthew 25:40) corrects you, do you react or respond?