Unintentional on my part, but today’s devotional picks up the same theme as an earlier devotional from Proverbs 12:5 on April 12, 2014. Using Rehoboam, the son of Solomon for my illustration, I summed up the penchant of man to turn to his peers for counsel with this observation:
You can tell a lot about a man’s character by where and to whom he goes for counsel (1 Kings 12:6-11).
Solomon’s insights are instructive for all who are in positions of authority, especially those who bear the responsibility of parenting and giving counsel.
Proverbs 15:5 – “A fool [mocker; rebel] despiseth [abhors; has contempt for] his father’s instruction [discipline; correction; warnings]: but he that regardeth reproof [rebuke] is prudent [crafty; shrewd].”
The characters of the fool and the wise man are defined, not by what they know (their intellect), but by their response to correction. A foolish son has contempt for the father who disciplines him, while a wise son hears and heeds reproof.
Continuing the same theme, Solomon addresses the attitude one has toward instruction in Proverbs 15:12.
Proverbs 15:12 – “A scorner [mocker] loveth not one [has no affection] that reproveth [corrects; reproves; chastens] him: neither will he go unto the wise [skillful in the use of knowledge].”
Notice the scorner has no love for the ones who dare reprove him [i.e. parent, teacher, pastor or another authority]. Too many parents take the side of a wayward son/daughter, unwilling to honestly evaluate the heart and spiritual bent of their child. When a child bristles at God-given authorities, a wise parent will do well to check the spiritual temperature of their child and remember, “A scorner loveth not one that reproveth” (15:12).
That same observation is true of adults who develop the skill to mask unbecoming attitudes towards the authorities in their life by putting a distance between themselves and their teachers and pastors. A scorner rejects both the leader and his counsel.
I close with Paul’s exhortation to Christians living in ancient Thessalonica:
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 – “And we beseech you, brethren, to know [acknowledge] them which labour among you, and are over you [rulers; leaders] in the Lord, and admonish you [reprove; correct]; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”