READ: Proverbs 12

BACKGROUND: By Verse –
4 – There is a more extensive discussion of what makes up the “wife of noble character” in Proverbs 31.
9 – Even people of modest incomes had servants in this time period.
11 – The second half of this verse is referring to people who are constantly trying to come up with get-rich-quick schemes rather than working hard.
16 – Overlooking insults means exercising self-control.
19 – It lasts only a moment because the lies will be discovered, and then consequences will be suffered.

THINK: Sometimes it is really hard to humbly accept correction from others – to deal well with being told that you’re wrong. It’s particularly difficult for us because, if we’re honest, most of us pretty much think we’re right all the time. I know I do. But I have a confession to make: I’m not always right. One time I was wrong.

I was about 7 years old, maybe 8, and my family – for a reason that is completely beyond me – was talking about horses and how fast they are. At that point, I boldly declared to my younger sister and brother that the fastest a horse could go was a “loaf.” My mom asked, “Don’t you mean a gallop? When horses run it’s called a gallop.” I was incredulous! I wouldn’t be told that I was wrong, and I certainly wouldn’t accept correction from my mom of all people. So I fought her and insisted that when a horse runs it’s called a loaf. I don’t actually remember this event taking place, but my mom has never let me forget it and my whole family still makes fun of me for it. I’m pretty sure the reason they still wont let it go – like a normal group of people would with the confused words of a 7 year-old – is that I haven’t been wrong since then and they need something to hold onto to feel better about themselves.

The truth is: I’ve been wrong a lot since then. I’m wrong about things all the time. We all are. And it’s really easy sometimes to laugh at the thought of a 7 year-old stupidly fighting against the advice of a parent by demanding that when a horse is sprinting that’s called loafing. But you know what? We do the same thing ALL THE TIME! We get advice from wise people around us and we rebel against it, resent it, or ignore it – especially if it comes from our parents. But this proverb reminds us that the best possible thing to do is to humbly accept correction and listen to advice. Life will go a lot better for us if we do.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid… The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:1,15

ASK: The next time I receive correction or advice – even if it’s from my parent’s or my boss – how will I handle it?

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