OW do you and I respond to rebuke? Some people don't really respond, they react. Although those two words are synonyms, what I mean is that sometimes there is no control, no benefit, no forethought and no optimism in how we knee-jerk against criticism... whether it be intended constructively or destructively. Sometimes our reactions are like what one might expect from an irreparably damaged nuclear reactor (that is, violently out of control). In stark contradistinction to our tender immaturity, David prayed for God to send righteous men his way for them to deal a few disciplinary blows against him (Psalm 141:5). Accountability, positive peer pressure, good training... call it what you want to, it's something that we all need. It's something that we should all learn to appreciate (Proverbs 9:8).
In Ecclesiastes 7:5, Solomon wrote, "It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools." Of course, we tend to love flattery. If we can persuade ourselves that there is either any truth or sincerity in the flattery, then we really become suckers for it. However, flattery is not what we need. Correction and instruction is what we need; encouragement too, sure… but a steady diet of sugar just ain't healthy, period. How can we be compliant with compliments? Compliance is a virtue, but it is unnecessary if all we are getting is kudos. James 3:17 tells us that we must be approachable; correctable. This is the attitude of maturity, humility and godliness.