Learning from Instruction and Correction
The Bible is often straightforward. Though sometimes it lays things out in metaphors, analogies or parables, sometimes it is “to-the-point”. Reading in Proverbs recently, I came across such an instance: “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1 In truth, the moment I read the verse, it made me chuckle. I appreciate the direct approach. However, there is much to be gleaned in this verse.
Being a teacher, I know what it is to instruct and correct. I’ve learned that it is much easier when a person accepts instruction and correction. In fact, when a person learns from instruction and correction, it is a joyful thing and speaks to their maturity. But when that person instead chooses to reject instruction and correction, it is often grievous because that rejection is wasteful and even dangerous.
Proverbs 12:15 advises: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” Proverbs 13:1 says: “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” And speaking of this concept in terms of father and son, Proverbs 3:11-12 even connects it to our relationship with God: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” And Hebrews 12:11 expounds, “…no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Today, if the Lord has been instructing and correcting you in a matter, heed and listen. Love not only the instruction but the discipline. It is an important aspect of His love. And if His Holy Spirit is keeping you in-check in a matter, obey.