Prov 15.5Unintentional 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 15:12A 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].”true-wisdom-for-life_t

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] biblethem 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.”