What does the word ‘rebuke’ mean?  According to the dictionary ‘rebuke’ means ‘to express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behaviour or actions’.  Being rebuked is hard as it exposes our short comings; and no one likes disapproval.  Yet giving a rebuke can be just as hard since the relational implications of rebuking are unknown.

A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you;

the wise, when rebuked, will love you. (Prov 9:8)

Yet, as Christians, we are prepared to be hated because we love the person we are rebuking. Indeed we correct others as an expression of our love for them.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. (Prov 27:5)

More importantly, we rebuke others because our Lord commands us to participate in the spiritual life of others.

3 Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. (Luke 17:3)

When rebuked, we should work through the emotions that erupt during the rebuke so as to hear what God is saying.  While hating the feelings that rebuking brings, we do not hate the rebuke itself for we know that it keeps us from destruction.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,

but those who hate to be rebuked are stupid. (Prov 12:1)

There is severe discipline for one who forsakes the way,

but one who hates a rebuke will die. (Prov 15:10)

Being a clumsy, extroverted, ADD personality I have lost count of the rebukes that I have received from others. I have found each and every one of them life changing and a blessing from Jesus.

Denis Oliver