Proverbs 15:5 (ESV)
A fool despises his father’s instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
Anyone who’s ever parented a teenager knows the feeling…being brushed off, (sometimes even mocked) when giving biblical advice to our kids. The parent can see danger ahead, but the son or daughter thinks they know what they’re doing. “Times are different,” “I can handle this,” they say…or maybe “You just don’t understand.”
Wow, it’s painful to step aside and let them learn as they flail, fall and fail along the way. Why can’t they just take our advice and avoid the pain? It’s just plain stupid!
Yet how often I do the same thing when I read God’s Word or hear from wise teachers and believers that are more mature than I am.
Over the past year, by God’s grace, He’s shown me through the conviction of His Word that I’m prone to wander and walk like a spiritual teenager. How about you?
When a passage of Scripture begs for more research and digging or nags at our heart and mind, what do we do? Or what about when a brother or sister in Christ confronts us with biblical correction or questions our lifestyle or motives, how do we respond?
My initial response can be lazy or defensive, especially when I’m focused more on self than on Christ. Sometimes it makes me agitated and irritated even. But by His grace, He usually brings me around to praying about what I’ve heard and prayerfully testing it against God’s Word. Sometimes I have to disregard advice or opinions from others (because it’s not in line with Scripture), but many times, I have to ask the Lord to strengthen me with the grace to respond to their reproof with change.
Proverbs 12:1 (ESV) says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” Sound familiar? Um, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be stupid.
The wisdom of hearing and receiving the Word of Truth–whether through prayer and Bible reading, a pulpit message, or a brother or sister who loves us–it’s for us. The question is, will we lay down our pride and receive it?
Will I receive it? The answer is, if it’s solid, true, authentic, in-context biblical Truth…then Yes, thank you. As I shrink before the only One who is truly wise, my eyes big and wide on Jesus, relying upon the grace and discernment He’ll provide to do so, I will.
Proverbs 15:31 (ESV)
The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will dwell among the wise.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV)
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
James 3:17 (ESV)
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Proverbs 11:2 (ESV)
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 2:3-6 (ESV)
3yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
4if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)
12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Proverbs 19:20 (ESV)
Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)
15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
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