“He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

Proverbs 29:1

In the event that you find yourself “as stubborn as a mule”, unbending in your opinions, and becoming totally obnoxious unless things always go your way, you probably fit into the category of Proverbs 29:1. We know that the phrase there is “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.”

Most of us carry an unbending attitude in certain areas of our lives. That is not necessarily wrong if we have a conviction on a matter; however, it is essential that in holding that position we show graciousness toward others. Perhaps another idea will refine our thinking and result in both parties finding a balance between our opinions.

I recall numerous experiences in the churches over which I was the under shepherd. One such encounter involved whether the ladies in the choir should wear hats; another involved whether we should borrow money for a new building; a third was consideration of proper dress for those serving communion; still another involved a doctrinal issue. Was it “weakness or heresy?” (Romans 14:1) All were resolved without a “battle of the brothers” by asking each person to study the Scriptures related to the subject. Next there was prayer on the matter. At no point were we allowed to even use the wrong “tone” in the discussion. There was the most beautiful harmony over four or five discussions on each subject and God was glorified.

When stubbornness permeates a person or persons, little, if anything can be accomplished! Someone “hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.” Surely we do not want to create a situation that is causing a brother to be “broken beyond remedy”.

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