I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
Read: Proverbs Chapter 17
10 A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding
than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.
How do you respond when you’re rebuked? This proverb makes it clear that there are two ways to respond to a rebuke, but only one way is right. Let’s face it: none of us like to be corrected or have our faults pointed out. I get it. But wouldn’t it be better to bear a little bit of pain or discomfort or maybe even eat a slice of humble pie and have the issue corrected, rather than foolishly continuing on and suffering the full weight of our folly? That’s the whole point found in our proverb for today. It’s better to feel the sting of correction rather than to suffer a beating with the rod of our folly.
Dr. Henry Cloud, in his book Integrity, makes the same point with this illustration. Say you’re eating chips and salsa and as you bite down on a chip, you feel a sharp pain in one of your teeth. That pain is a telltale sign of a cavity, but you hate going to the dentist so you choose just to eat on the other side of your mouth. Rather than feel the prick of the needle and the discomfort of having your mouth open as the dentist probes, drills, and fills the cavity, you’d rather just ignore it. In essence, you’re refusing a little bit of discomfort in exchange for hours, days, or even months of excruciating pain and suffering. Somehow, you’ve determined this is better than actually getting the cavity filled. Here’s the problem: the cavity will never go away, it only gets worse. The tooth is soon abscessed as it rots in your mouth, ruining the teeth on either side of it. And here’s the kicker: what you hoped to avoid—going to the dentist—has come to fruition, only now it’s a lot worse. The pain is almost unbearable, and all three teeth need to be pulled.
Sadly, I can relate to Dr. Cloud’s story about going to the dentist. My unwillingness to go cost me several teeth and a lot of money! The same is true when it comes to our daily lives. None of us will walk wisdom’s path perfectly, so we need trusted friends who can speak to areas of weakness in our lives. The challenge for us is this: are we willing to listen to a rebuke? Sometimes it’s our pride that gets in the way of listening to a gentle, well-timed rebuke or correction.
Let’s go back to our question at the beginning. How do you respond when you’re rebuked? A wise person is sensitive to correction and is better for it. Make it your goal to be a wise person. The fool requires a sledgehammer to get their attention; if you can even get their attention at all. Don’t be the fool. We must remain open to the fact that we may need correction and some things may need to change. If you need to repent of those things, repent! Repentance is the first step back to wisdom’s path.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Week’s Scripture Memory:
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.