(Proverbs 17:10 KJV) A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
We don’t like it but “reproof” (rebuke NASB) (1606) is an important part of life. It is also a positive part of life. It is an agent of growth and the improvement depends on the rebukee, not the rebuker.
When someone gets on my case my first reaction is self-defense. I raise my emotional fists and go into a psychological fighter poise. I may not lash out at first, but I am ready. Up to that point it is a natural response. It is on the level of emotion and like temptation, is not a sin. The sin comes when we begin to actively engage. There is that moment in a confrontation when we either decide to fight or flee. For us there should be a third response. We should be open to correction and honestly consider the possibility that there is a lesson for us.
So? People are going to criticize me. I really want to grow from legitimate criticism. The tendency is to get defensive and reject the potential maturity. I need to take that moment of serious consideration before I go down the wrong path.