God’s word describes the wise person as one who is “open to reason” (Jms.3:17). The one Greek New Testament word that translates this phrase speaks to the attribute of a person who is willing to change his mind or behavior when presented with the appropriate evidence. It describes one who is not the kind who thinks “my mind is made up, so don’t bother me with the facts.” That kind of thinking can be abandoned by most Christians when the concern is about this or that, but when the topic is oneself, it is a difficult pattern to shake.
As the Old Testament Proverbs repeatedly highlight, “Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning” (9:7–9).
The wise and maturing Christian is one who is open to correction, reproof, rebuke, and the subsequent changes that go with it. May we all be making progress and growing in the wisdom that enables us to be open to the reasonable correction that is often available, but all too often refused.
-- Pastor Mike Fabarez
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