“Let a righteous man strike me - it is a kindness; let him rebuke me - it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.” Psalm 141:5a
I don’t take “rebuke” very well. I have a bad habit of thinking that I’m the smartest person in the room so when someone deems to correct me, I’m not usually very receptive, no matter who is giving the correction (more often than not my incredibly intelligent and patiently perceptive wife). But David asks us to take another look at that. He’s not just saying we need to receive rebuke rightly, but that we need to request righteous rebuke.
That reminds me of a proverb I read recently: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Prov. 27:6
As the year comes to a close and we start to think how we might want next year to be different, we should look at the friends that we are in community with. Are they friends that challenge us and rebuke us when necessary or are they more likely to massage your ego? If we want to see real growth, both individually and as a congregation, we need more of the former and less of the latter.