God speaks to us through His Word and by His Spirit in so many different ways. Sometimes God’s Word speaks to us about historical events. Sometimes God’s Word speaks to us in prophecies – some of which are already fulfilled, others are yet to be fulfilled. Sometimes God’s Word speaks to us in commands, corrections, cautions and encouragements. Sometimes God’s Word speaks to us in parables and metaphors. Sometimes God’s Word speaks to us in emotionally charged poetry and songs.
And sometimes God’s Word speaks to us bluntly and blatantly in extreme, cut-to-the-chase, get-to-the-point ways. That’s exactly how many of the passages from Proverbs impact me. Bluntly.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. – Proverbs 12:1
It really says that? That way? Yes! God’s Word speaks this bluntly to get His point across. God wants us to clearly, and without a lot of room for differing interpretations, understand that there are consequences for all our attitudes and behaviors. God wants us to understand that this all up in our face Proverb is meant to bring us life-giving, life-freeing truth.
When we love discipline – when we love to learn how we should live and act, speak and respond – we will love the knowledge and understanding it brings into our lives. And when we reject and hate the wise and godly correction, teaching and discipling-discipline that come to us, from God’s love for us, we’re just being stupid! And pride is the root-feeding material for that kind of stupidity.
We are told, as followers of Christ, that we should…
have the same mindset as that of Christ Jesus…he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:5, 8
Our pride blocks us from humbly and open-mindedly accepting and learning lessons about ourselves that would actually free us and deepen us to grow in strength, wisdom and love. We may not like the manner in which the discipline and correction come into our lives. We may not even like the person from whom the discipline and correction come into our lives.
Yet, it would be stupid of us not to check our pride at the door, and prayerfully ask God:
What truth-filled discipline from God’s heart and mind do I need to accept and receive?
What correction in my thinking, speaking, acting, reacting and interacting needs to happen?
We need to trust God’s love for us so much that we will love His discipline and correction that come to us – even if they sometimes come to us in harsh ways – teaching us hard truths about ourselves. We need to trust God’s love for us so much that we will love to grow, mature and become more like Jesus.
May we each choose the attitude of our Lord Jesus Christ, who brings truth, freedom and transformation into our lives! Choose humility and, thereby, choose wisdom! In other words: Don’t Be Stupid!