Proverbs 15:5, 12 – The characters of the fool and the wise man are defined, not by what they know (their intellect), but by their response to correction.

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.”