I love the book of Proverbs. Even with all of Solomon’s problems, he still was clearly blessed by God and was truly the wisest man that ever lived. However, I’ve found that while I love his condensed writing style, I can’t spend a whole bunch of time there because it all starts running together. Yet in small doses, it is so powerful because it gives me a nugget of wisdom to chew on and really process. The proverb above jumped out to me this week because of how many people struggle with truly grasping this principle. We spend so much of our time rationalizing and defending our actions, that receiving “correction” is difficult and really has to be a learned trait. We don’t like being wrong in things that matter… well at least I don’t so I’ll just speak for myself and you can make application for yourself if the shoe fits.
When it comes to my life and activities, I like to think that I’ve thought through the pros and cons and picked an action or path that is good, if not best! Otherwise I would have waited and asked for help. I’m not afraid to seek guidance or wisdom, but when I’ve decided and then someone speaks up and tells me that I’m wrong or that there was a better path — my initial reaction is to bristle. I’m immediately skeptical while my brain races to determine if your opinion should be trusted or not (which isn’t all bad because we are supposed to test every spirit to see if it is from God or not). Now, I’m not as bad as I once was. In fact, the picture I painted above is more a picture of what I used to be. God has been working on me and bearing the fruit of his Spirit in me, but I still feel that prideful spirit seeking to be resurrected even though I died to it. That and l still dislike being wrong when it matters.
Yet here, in Proverbs 10, we are reminded that Godly correction is for our benefit. It helps us find life! Without the word of God working through the actual words of scripture and those around us, it’s so easy to rationalize and then become calloused to things in our life that don’t cut the mustard with God. Things that He calls us to die to, or actions he has called us to – that we turn a blind eye to. It’s for that reason that Paul tells Timothy to tell the older men and women to teach the younger. It’s why Paul rebuked Peter for only eating with Jews and ignoring the Gentiles, and it’s why deacons were established to handle the passing out of food when the Gentile widows were being overlooked. We can get in a rut, and even though that rut might have begun innocently enough, when it takes us away from God we need others to correct us. The only one that can cause you to follow after God or pull you away from God… is you. So accept correction, realize that you are not perfect and let’s all strive alongside one another heavenward for the prize!
Striving alongside you for the prize,