by: FCC Staff
Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
If you’ve ever had an older sibling or friend, perhaps you’ve had the experience of them forcing your own hand to hit yourself. The gag is, to then say, “Stop hitting yourself… Stop hitting yourself…” over and over as you do, indeed, hit yourself. It’s frustrating to the extreme to experience, as most people don’t make it a habit to go around hitting themselves.
In the same way our proverb for today tells us that ignoring instruction is to despise yourself. We can almost imagine the devil tempting us in to some foolish behavior and mocking us as well… “stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself” as he uses our own stubborn reluctance to listen to reason to bring continued calamity into our lives.
But if we are open to wisdom, we can instead hear the gentle voice of Jesus telling us, no that behavior is not wise, choose another path. We can gain insight and make more intelligent decisions if we can accept the reproof of scripture. When what the bible tells us is godly action in any circumstance it is a loving reminder from our Father for our own benefit. We are engaging in literal self-destructive behaviors when we choose to act outside the will of God found in his word.
Paul admonished the church in Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” We are to accept the wisdom of God found in his word and reject the human and demonic influences that tell us the reproof of God is not the truth.
God tells us not to lie. Philosophy may ask, is it always wrong to lie? Or perhaps what is a lie? What is truth? Just a matter of perspective perhaps? Or other humanistic, or secular beliefs can try to compete for supremacy in our ethics and worldview. Satan will come at us with a sly inquiry, “Did God REALLY say…” Worked on Adam and Eve, and still works to this day. But when God’s word says, “You shall not…” that reproof, that restraint on our sinful nature serves to build up in us a more godly character.
When we accept anything other that biblical truth, we are foolishly choosing to ham ourselves. We must despise ourselves to knowingly choose such a path, our proverb reasons. You must not care very much for your own safety to just run a red light in the middle of afternoon traffic. We must not care much for our spiritual well-being if we ignore God’s wisdom either.
So today, instead of choosing to ignore scripture when it tells us to do something hard, or against our own personal will, let’s listen to what God says and let him discipline us. Let’s choose to grow our intelligence in a way that pleases God, listening to the truth in his word.
Prayer for Today
Father, thank you for loving me enough to tell me “no” when I want to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Help me to take the commands in the bible that forbid me from sin seriously. Jesus, show me the perfect will of your Father. And by your Holy Spirit, help me to always listen to the promptings of scripture. Amen.