College professors are often asked to write recommendation letters for their students. In addition, many companies ask the professor to fill out a form that ranks the candidate in various areas; one being “teachability.” They want to know if your former student was humble and wise enough to learn from others and from their own mistakes. Solomon addresses the same issue in today’s proverb.
No one likes to receive discipline, and I think that’s why Solomon brings it up so often in the book of Proverbs. Since the Fall, humans have tended toward foolishness and hard-headedness. Just like Adam and Eve, we think we know best, and so we plow ahead with what we want to do and resent anyone who might suggest we are headed in the wrong direction. That’s the human condition, but Solomon tells us that’s the exact wrong way to live.
Rather than reject, or “spurn,” correction from people God has placed in our lives, Solomon tells us that we should “heed correction,” for that “shows prudence,” or in other words, makes us wise (v. 5). Sin has conditioned us to think that we know what is right and best for us, but we are deceived. And to continue in that deception by rejecting discipline shows that we are more than deceived—we are fools. To turn the ship around, so to speak, we must face the truth about our sin condition and then humbly accept correction and reproof. That’s easier said than done, of course. Seeing ourselves as we really are is not just countercultural, it’s counter-human! We need the Holy Spirit, whom Christ promised, to guide and direct our hearts, otherwise we’ll remain fools convinced of our own goodness.
>> Invite the Holy Spirit to keep your heart humble and open to His correction. The Lord may correct you through the reading of His Word or the words of fellow believers. Pray for the grace you need to respond and learn.
Lord, we know that the consequences of sin unchecked are far worse than the sting of correction! Work in our hearts so we have the humility to accept correction—and even to be thankful for it!