Monday, September 12, 2011

Proverbs 12:1 --- Dynamite in a Very Small Package!

It's amazing how much can be packed into one small verse, isn't it?

On first glance, you might think the first part of verse one is about education, or learning, knowledge of that kind. But the second part of the verse gives us the clue – reproof is one form of instruction, and it usually is the kind that we don’t like! You can call it counsel, you can call it admonition, or constructive criticism….no matter what you call it, we just don’t like it, do we? How hard is it sometimes to say, “I was wrong.” I know I struggle with that sometimes; do you?

It comes a little easier to me now – years ago I’d want to crawl in a hole before I’d say it; I guess now I’m much more aware of how fallible I truly am!

So, the next time someone tells you that you might have a wee little fault, or could have done something better, try very hard to smile!  (Now, now, quit grinding your teeth! The smile is supposed to be the outer wrapping for your sweet spirit, remember?!)

Of course, reproof can also come from a sermon we hear, or from the "still, small voice" speaking to our conscience, too! I always have to remind myself that a very important part of prayer is just being quiet, and waiting on Him. 

It took me a moment or two to get my mind wrapped around the part of the verse that says, "he that hateth reproof is brutish."  I checked in my fav Bible, and the word there in Hebrew is translated "brutish," or "stupid", in referring to animals, and "foolish" referring to people.  OK, that is making more sense to me now --- if we hate to be reproved, then we are similar to the animals, who cannot reason or have understanding as we can. One commentary said we would be behaving like the oxen, "who kick against the goad." Fast forward through the Word to the Lord's gentle reproof of Saul, "it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." Same meaning there....the goad, or pricks, were hard, and painful, and meant to guide the animals where they were supposed to go. Probably not where they wanted to go...they would have like to have gone back in the barn and slept! But that is what reproof is --- no matter where it comes from: the Word, our conscience, a minister, or another Christian. 

What will our response be, the next time we are reproved? Will we love instruction, or be foolish?(Please excuse me while I bandage my own bruised toes? Thanks!)


Belinda said...

I don't think anyone really enjoys criticism, me included. But, I've learned to deal with it, and I try to remember that I need it. I guess it's insecurity that makes me cringe when I am corrected. And pride. I've been working on just trying to say, "Yes, I was wrong." And not get my feathers ruffled about it.

I also have a hard time "being still" with God. That comes from being too "busy". And if you have been reading my comments and my blog, you know what a hard time I have with that! LOL.

Hillbilly Tonya said...

This verse is often in the back of my head. I don't like being corrected, and I get so embarrassed!

I also have to be careful not to point this verse out to my children as often as I would like to do!!