Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. –Proverbs 23:9, KJV
Have you known that person who knows everything?
Even when it is obvious there is a lacking in knowledge?
Perhaps she has been friends with a lot of famous people.
Maybe he knows all about everyone around.
It could be they have done everything and been everywhere.
And then you pull them aside and quietly point out a small error in their story or correct a “fact” they shared.
But there is always an excuse or a way to brush off what you’ve said.
You may even find you have a new enemy (or at least less of a friend).
Or maybe you are that person.
Can you take simple correction? Can you admit you may be wrong? Or do you always have an excuse or ignore those who disagree?
Do not stretch the truth or make up facts. And if someone corrects you, listen and, if needed, admit you’re wrong and change.
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It’s been years since I have taken a written test, but even as an adult I still get some well-suppressed jitters when the paper is handed back. (That is, unless it’s all on computer; I’m showing my vintage, I suppose.)
Who doesn’t remember the composition class in high school with the completed assignment coming back marked up in red from the teacher? And I only made it to trigonometry and “college math” when I was in high school—I begged off from calculus, thank you very much. My first trig exam came back into my hands with something like an 11 out of 40 or 50. (I still distinctly remember that “11” at the top of the page.)
Thankfully, nursing school didn’t need calculus or trig, but since this was before the days of ubiquitous computerized machinery—or Google—we needed a special form of math that had to do with calculating IV drip rates, converting “household” and “apothecary” measurements into “metric” portions, and the like. There’s no wiggle room in this kind of math—the patient’s health (and life) depended on it.
I’m not sure what kind of memories King Solomon was drawing upon when he wrote this…
“To learn, you must love discipline;
it is stupid to hate correction.”
…but he may have had a time when he also hoped his own personal physician hadn’t tried to cheat, fake or argue his way through medical school.
To be a student of any kind takes discipline, and discipline takes humility. It means embracing the (eventually inevitable) fact that I’m not smart enough on my own to get it right the first time. Maybe not even the second or third. That someone may actually know more than me. That knowledge and skill comes only with persistent personal application, and that, in itself, comes with the price of time and sacrifice.
In reality, the dunce hat doesn’t belong to those who make mistakes, but to those who refuse to learn from them, and from others.
Your future “patients” will thank you.
Proverbs 12:1 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Doggie Dunce photo from StrangeDangers.com, Google Images
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Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. -Proverbs 9:8-9, KJV
I taught 7th Grade mathematics last year. There were a handful of students who, whenever corrected or disciplined, would lash out. One in particular said he hated me. Who was I to tell him how to live his life?
Most of the students in the class reacted negatively to correction, to be honest, but a few (and eventually more) saw the benefits of following through with the correction. Somehow, I became the favorite teacher of many students.
Now look at the yourself and even others in the Church. When presented with biblical truth about sin, what is the response?
If your reaction is to lash out, deny, or get angry, ask yourself, Why? If it is not true, why get upset?
Fighting a correction can cost more than listening, such as hurt/broken relationships and/or wasted time.
The wise person wants to change, for the goal is to be Christ-like, perfect as God is perfect. You may even find you love that person more for helping you grow closer to Christ.
That is not possible if we continue in sin.
Refusing to even acknowledge the need for correction could imply you are heading the opposite direction, and you come to hate those who offered the correction.
3 Comments | tags: advice, Book of Proverbs, correction, Correction and Discipline, Counsel, discipline, Hate, instruction, love, response, Sin, teacher | posted in counsel, discipline, Instruction