“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
I’m not sure if you caught it or not, but the author of Proverbs just said a dirty word. If I were to read this verse out loud to my kids – all three would very quickly point it out. It’s a word that I don’t let them use. It’s a word that describes the state of a person that is, well, not smart. It’s a word used to describe someone who is, how shall I put it, ummmm . . . an idiot.
Yep. That’s the word – S-T-U-P-I-D.
I don’t let my kids use it because I don’t want them calling people names and using such a derogatory word in doing so (unless they are speaking of someone who happens to play football for the University of Al . . . oops. . . I digress).
According to wikipedia, stupid means having a lack of intelligence. . . to put it nicely.
The problem with this verse? It’s calling ME stupid. Don’t laugh, pal. Look at the verse again. The author might just be calling you stupid too.
According to wisdom, hating reproof is stupid. To be totally honest – a lot of times, I HATE reproof.
Being reproved means I have to know where I am weak.
I don’t want to KNOW where I am weak.
Being reproved means I have to hear where I struggle.
I don’t want to KNOW where I struggle.
Being reproved means I have to know where I need to improve.
I don’t want to KNOW where I need to improve.
I don’t want to KNOW my blind spots.
I don’t want to KNOW if I did something wrong.
I don’t want to KNOW where my hidden sins are.
You see, I’m stupid.
The opposite of stupid? Knowledge. The opposite of hating reproof? Discipline.
It takes discipline to gain knowledge about those things that need improvement. To put it another way: It takes discipline to endure reproof.
Those things I don’t want to KNOW? If I don’t KNOW them, I can’t get better and improve as a man. If I don’t KNOW them – I end up being, well, stupid.
Enduring reproof (knowledge of where/what needs improvement) takes discipline.
Wisdom says, “Don’t be stupid!” Have the guts to know where you’re weak (withstand reproof). Then have the discipline to turn that knowledge into action.