Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. – Proverbs 12:1
Nothing grabs your attention more than the Scriptures saying “he. . . is stupid.” It at least grabbed mine. This proverb pulls no punches. It teaches us that the one who loves knowledge loves discipline too. Contrasted with this type of man is the one who hates being taught, hates reproof or correction. Solomon calls this type of man stupid.
I can’t think of many people who enjoy being disciplined, whether that be by their parents when they were a kid or by their boss at work, or even by the Lord. Yet it is truly in discipline that we gain knowledge. God does not discipline us just because he feels like it. No, discipline from the Lord is designed to mold us more into his image.
The second part of this verse is hard for me to wrap my head around. The word reproof (translated here as ‘correction’) means “an expression of blame or disapproval.” Yet Solomon tells us that the man who hates this reproof is stupid.
This verse is clearly not telling us that we should seek out discipline or seek out correction. We aren’t to be like children asking their parents for a spanking. Definitely not. Rather, when this discipline or correction comes, we can love it for the fact that it teaches. We can love it for the fact that we can leverage these moments to grow in our Christlikeness, just as we would leverage celebratory moments.
Don’t hate the discipline that may come your way. Don’t hate correction. Let them be opportunities for you to grow closer to the Lord. When we truly comprehend that God uses all things for our good and His glory, we can let the setbacks of reproof or discipline be opportunities for us to grow in our knowledge of God and thus become more like Him.
Father God, thank you for the way that you use all things in our lives to make us more like you. Let us not despise correction or reproof. Instead let us in humility seek to become more like you through these moments. When we discipline our children, let us use these moments to grow them closer to you as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.
– Nathan Roach