“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” -Proverbs 9:7-9
To learn from the proverbs we need to be wise enough to love correction, rebuke, instruction and learning. That seems like common sense, but its not so common. Those who have become wise are those who were willing to admit that they were wrong, or at least find out to see if they could be wrong. They also love being instructed and no matter how much they are taught, they continue to learn.
If you can’t stand it to be taught by someone then you will never learn (common sense right?). My prayer for all of my readers is that this year we would go through the Book of Proverbs (if it is the 1st of the month read chapter 1, if its the 2nd read chapter 2, etc.) and as we do that we would be teachable and more importantly correctable. There are a lot of times where we think we are wise, then someone corrects us and we despise them for it. That only proves what everyone else knew all along, that we are fools. One of the biggest mistakes that the “mature Christian” makes is to to hear something and think “Oh I already know all that, there is nothing new for me to learn there”. A wise man knows that in every instance of instruction there is always something more to learn, and hence he will be wiser still.
When you can love someone for rebuking you, then you know you are finally the wise man you always wanted to be. This takes humility. To understand the proverbs, we must first revere God and then second we must humble ourselves to be teachable to them. Only then will the riddle, the proverb and the enigma become precious gems of invaluable truth to you.
So here is to a year of learning, of being teachable and humble; to loving those who rebuke us and to never feeling like you “already know all that”.