One of my favorite gifts to receive is a lovely pair of earrings … especially from other countries. They travel well, they add variation and charm to most outfits, they usually have a story and I simply think they are so much fun!
About a year before we were married, my husband traveled to Turkey, Romania and South Korea mostly due to his professional training. He so wonderfully brought back little earring treasures from each destination as gifts for me. As you can imagine, I was elated!
However, during that same summer, it was difficult for me to encounter many “growth opportunities” when I was wrong and needed some gentle correction.
One week in particular, I don’t even remember what I was struggling through, but a wise rebuke was in order. Gratefully, my family and husband, Stefan, (who was my boyfriend at the time) were very patient and gracious with me yet they loved me enough to humbly point out where I could grow. They didn’t just “let it go” in hopes that I would inevitably figure things out if I failed enough times.
Right in the midst of that week, when I continued to receive helpful rebukes from those closest to me, I read Proverbs 25:12:“Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.”
Almost every month for the past 10 years I have read through the book of Proverbs. Surely, I had read over that verse at least a hundred times before, but it jumped off the page and practically made my jaw drop when I read it that time.
When Stefan picked me up to go to church that morning, I was so excited to share this verse with him. That summer, he not only gave me real earrings, but he had been giving me intangible, invaluable “earrings” of his wise rebuke.
Here comes our part: the “listening ear” portion of the verse. We can easily get defensive or grumpy when someone who cares about us challenges us to reconsider our actions (trust me; I don’t always receive these rebukes well) OR we can listen and gain priceless wisdom.
Of course, we need to consider the source of this rebuke, but if it is a trusted friend, mentor, or anyone who has your best interest in mind and their counsel lines up with the Word of God, then swallow that yucky pride and receive the beautiful “earrings” with joy!
Keep in mind these timeless truths:
- Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. —Proverbs 27:6
- He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. —Proverbs 15:31
- Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel. —Proverbs 27:9
- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. —Proverbs 27:17
Are you letting wise counselors and mentors speak into your life? Do you have “iron-sharpening-iron” friends who will speak up when they see something amiss in your life? Do you have encouragers surrounding you to help reinforce God’s truth as you go about your days? Are you a life-giving, encouraging friend to those around you?
Lord willing, as we mature as women of God we will have acquired quite the “earring” collection to display the beauty of wisdom on a daily basis.