Friday, May 13, 2011

May 12th – Proverbs 12: “Psst! I Think God Just Called You Stupid”

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” – Proverbs 12:1

One of the many reasons I love the Bible is because it pulls no punches! It just calls things like they are. If the Scripture was a person, (and it is) He would be very straightforward and brutally honest, like this passage. This scripture simply tells us that the person that hates correction is stupid. This scripture could be translated just as easily to say: “The person that cherishes and loves reproof, warning and rebuke like a friend intimately understands knowledge and wisdom; but the person that utterly despises and treats as an enemy all correction, reasoning and rebuke is like a dumb cow!”

We’re not just to endure correction, instruction and rebuke, we’re to love and cherish it and become intimate with it like a friend. This isn’t a passive thing, it’s active. When we have a friend we go out of our way to schedule time with that person, setting up a lunch here, a dinner there because we enjoy our friend’s company. In the same way, a wise person looks for correction, adjustment and yes, even rebuke. I think it’ interesting that we are told that the person who loves correction also loves knowledge; the two are vitally connected! Knowledge and understanding are found wrapped in correction and rebuke. As I think over this, it’s true, I have learned far more from a rebuke than someone telling me I’m awesome. I’ve been paid a bunch of compliments and I’m not sure they have taught me anything. In fact, the scripture says they are a test!

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.” – Proverbs 27:21

But the person that despises and treats correction, chastisement and rebuke as something of little value is stupid. The word stupid here could be translated “brutish”, like an animal; specifically a cow. That’s not exactly a compliment, is it? Yes, correction and rebuke hurts for a second, but in the long run, it serves us well. We have to learn to love it. It’s counterintuitive to our flesh but second nature to our spirit. My flesh hates it when I’m corrected or adjusted but my spirit loves it. We have to learn to LOVE the truth more than we love our convenient little lies. If we don’t, it’s not a good thing:

“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” – II Thessalonians 2:10-12

YOU: “What, are you calling me stupid?”
ME: “No, God is.”

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