Tuesday, 12 May 2020
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. (KJV)
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (ESV )
To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction. (NLT)
Proverbs 12:1 means “He who loves discipline, instruction, reproof, and correction is also one who loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof, rebuke, and chastening is stupid.“
For learning to take place one must be teachable. Teachability is an attitude which can only be cultivated through humility. A progressive learner always is ready to be corrected by his teacher or his mentor. The inability to admit error and confess mistakes means we hate knowledge because we don’t accept discipline. Knowledge will grow if you love discipline, instruction and correction.
Those who are too proud to be corrected, Wisdom says, we are brutish or stupid. Albert Barnes, in his commentary of this verse, said, “Dumb as a brute beast. The difference between man and brute lies chiefly in the capacity of the former for progress and improvement, and that capacity depends upon his willingness to submit to discipline and education.” Those who hate correction is plain stupid, not ignorant but stupid. There is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance is due to a lack of information or instruction. Stupid in this context is the deliberate rejection of instruction or information. If we continue to be stubborn and refuse to be corrected, we will slip down to a path of pride until we finally get into a position which is irreversible. We are all children of God, we are still kids under construction. If we fail to welcome criticism and correction, we will never be able to become the people God desires for us to be.
As we ponder over this verse, we must admit that we are only human and imperfect in many areas of our lives. We are not always right, we don’t know it all, and we must resist the prideful impulses to believe that we do. We need to ask God to humble ourselves to be able to “esteem others better than ourselves.” Learning doesn’t stop with age. Learn to love discipline and submit ourselves to the process of life-long learning in the fear of God. It is never too late to make the change that changes everything! Let God continue to do new things in our lives each day.
Few things bothering me as I observe our interaction with each other as members of a family and members of the church. There are many unresolved problems with the relationship that were directly related to giving correction or criticism and receiving of correction or criticism.
Those of us who are giving correction or criticism, we need to check our motives and our attitudes. Parents I appeal to you that your children though are very secure in your love for them, still you must avoid harsh correction or criticism. The intention of correction is always to bring the person back to the right path. Correction is not scolding or nagging. It is loving and guiding and literally hold their hands to lead them back. Prayer, love and patience will bring far better results than otherwise.
What about in the church? How do we wisely give correction and criticism? Don’t try to correct or criticize if we don’t love the person. It will not work. We must first earn the right to correct and criticize. On a person to person level, correction or criticism is best done in private. Unless it involves others. If it is just in the care group, it is best to be kept at that level, if it concerns the entire church, then it has to be at that level. We must keep in mind the purpose is always to build up never to embarrass or to put down someone. It is always done in love with a genuine desire to help a brother or sister to grow in the Lord.
What about how we receive correction. It is not always pleasant to be corrected or criticised. Let us not react, nor be defensive, or be angry but listen with humility which is very hard but necessary. Then evaluate what is being said. If it is true, we must correct ourselves and thank the person for pointing it out to you. If not, talk to the person who directed the criticism or correction, to understand why or even explain why.
Most of all, ask God for grace to forgive and not harbour anger and hatred in your heart.
Prayer for today
Father in heaven, we thank you for You are our All Wise God. We are ever grateful for the Holy Spirit who leads us into the truth. We thank you for Your Living Word, that we feed on each day. May Your Word be like a mirror. Help us to take some moments to reflect on your Word, may we be quiet to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what you are saying today.
Father, grant us the discipline and humility to submit to a daily routine of personal development. Lord, train us to be both students and teachers at the same time. We thank you for providing us with loving parents, teachers in the church, in school and in places where we work. Grant us a humble attitude to learn from others, so that we can share with others what we have learned.
Lord, we ask for wisdom and love to teach and correct our children or students under our care. As students, give us the humility to listen and learn from others. May there be mutual respect between both teachers and students. Help us always to be able to create exciting teaching and learning moments whenever you give us the opportunity.
Father, we confess at the time, we have been harsh and unreasonable. What we said was sharp and unkind. O Lord, help us that we will always speak words of encouragement that will build others up. May our words always be seasoned with grace and love.
Lord, remind us that we still have a long way to go. Teach us to have a humble spirit to accept Your discipline and instruction so that we can become the person you desire us to be.
Speak Lord, your servant heareth! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Pastor Isaac Yim