Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
— Revelation 3:19
This explanation and exhortation came from the mouth of Jesus directly after some really harsh words to the church in Laodicea. He explained that His rebuke was out of love, and the expected reaction from the church was repentance. Just as it is with parents, God will first rebuke His children. If the child is still disobedient, the rod of discipline comes. When conviction sets in due to a rebuke from a brother or sister in the Lord, or from God Himself through the Word or by the Holy Spirit you have two choices: 1) humble yourself and repent, or 2) buck against it and harden your heart in defense. When you choose the latter, God will then use the rod of discipline, usually by handing you over to the consequences of your own choices.
Humble yourself at the rebuke rather than God having to humble you with discipline.
Heavenly Father, I choose to humble myself, rather than to be humbled by you. Help me to be sensitive to your voice so that I know when I need to repent. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!