Are You Kidding Me?
Proverbs 12:1 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”
So “stupid” does not refer to a level of intelligence, or a lack of education. Here we have stupidity defined – “one who hates correction.”
Correction is not pleasant. I can remember receiving a less-than-favorable job review. I admit I didn’t like it one bit. It stung. But over time I realized the criticism was justified and began to implement a program of improvement. Looking back over my career I now think enabled me to make great progress in improving my productivity.
You can reject correction or use it to better yourself. As it says in the New Testament “no correction seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
And discipline? We need to love, embrace and make discipline a part of our lives. I recently was listening to an audio self-help book where self-discipline was the number one character trait of successful men and woman.
Discipline is defined as:
“Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement”.
Action Step: Be alert for even the mildest correction. As I write this, I’m again reminded of my daughter’s request of an item she asked me to pick up at the store. I’ll not promise again to remember. This time I take out my pocket notebook and carefully enter the item for my next store trip.
The correction here is her reminder that I had forgotten the item. The discipline is changing my pattern of behavior so I don’t repeat the error.
Embrace correction and discipline as a way of growth. Painful? Yes. Profitable? Tremendously.
Proverbs 24: 30-34 “I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”
There are many powerful lessons in these verses and I have used it before. What interests me is how we obtain wisdom.
Where did Solomon receive his wisdom? What books did he read? Certainly he was a student of many subjects and had great knowledge and learning. But his wisdom came from God. But it came by way of his five senses – using his eyes and his ears.
What did you see when you left your house yesterday? What did you learn driving down the street? Do we live with our eyes, ears and mind fully open?
Many passed by this farm in Solomon’s time but they noticed nothing. Maybe a less than well kept house and property.
But Solomon really LOOKED. He observed the types of plants growing. They were briars, and nettles. He observed the weeds and the stonewall in ruins. He then applied his heart to what he saw to turn this into a lesson.
A mind that is wide open. Seeing, hearing applying our heart to what we observe is the path of wisdom. Like a child asking why, we grow, we learn, we understand.
Today, observe the houses and yards in your community, what stories do they tell about the occupants? Pretend you are an appraiser putting a price on the home or a detective charged with developing a profile of the occupants. Keep a mind wide open and senses fully engaged.
Skillful in Business
Proverbs 22:29 – Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.
Or King James Version – Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
The Bible provides instruction on how to advance in the present world. It is skilled, diligent work that brings advancement. Yes, God’s blessing plays an important part but not outside of intense effort.
Solomon observed a level of diligence and skill that lifted the worker to greater heights of responsibility. The effort and skill displayed allowed rapid advancement into the king’s service.
Today, however, the main focus is not obtaining worldly wealth. The believer is an example to all. A hard skillful worker is a light to his family, his community and his church.
You dislike your current level of employment? Work your way up through the ranks. Really push, work quickly, cheerfully, without supervision. Don’t be a good worker, be a GREAT worker. Put this prophecy to work in your life.