September 20, 2005

Stupid!

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 12:1 (NIV)


This is one of my all-time favorite verses. It has been for quite some time. But I had forgotten about it until yesterday. My pastor, who is currently preaching through the book of Hebrews, mentioned this verse, in correlation with the passage that we were studying.

I originally liked this verse as a teacher. It came in quite handy when I was trying to correct a student. There are always those students who just don't handle being corrected as well as other students. So when one of them got a little testy, I would break out the Bible and have them read this verse.

Now, if you didn't know this already, when someone is being corrected and they are handling that correction poorly and then they are asked to read this verse, their reaction can be quite interesting. Mostly because of that one word... stupid. Notice that it doesn't say that there were stupid actions taking place, it says that the person who hates correction is, in fact, stupid. If you are being corrected and you are not liking it, well then, you are stupid. At least, that is what God says.

Now I could never actually walk up to a student and say, "you're stupid." I would be getting a parent phone call, and I am sure I would end up in the principal's office. I have been there many times before, and I don't want to go back. But when I have the child read it for themselves, then it isn't me that is saying it. It is the author of the Bible!

Oh sure, I can echo the words, but I would never want to claim them as my own. That would also be stupid.

But as time has gone by, I have begun to appreciate this verse for other reasons. I have realized that it doesn't just belong to the young. It doesn't just belong to the students and the children, it belongs to us all. The discipline of God should not be hated, it should be loved. Not that we are a bunch of oddballs who love pain, but that we love the result of the discipline. We love the God who knows what is best for us. His disciplines can be hard, but the reward is worth it!

Don't be stupid today.