Correction Is Not For Fools

Proverbs 1:1-7
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Correction is not for fools. Correction brings understanding and wisdom, but fools despise wisdom, so correction is wasted on them.

I’m so happy that you and I are not fools. We want to receive understanding and wisdom. If that were not true, you would not be reading this. And I would not be writing it.

God gives us the ability to study and decide what is right and what is wrong. We have a conscience and a brain, which are awesome gifts from God. So we should use our gifts and abilities to grow into the people God designed us to be.

What do you do?

That’s always been a hard question for me to answer. I’m busy at several things, but no one wants to hear everything I’m doing. Should I answer that question with something that sounds a little vague? “I’m growing into perfection because of God’s persistent love and guidance.” Or maybe this: “I’m continually receiving correction from God.” Is that a little too honest?

But isn’t that what we should be doing with our lives? Receiving correction from God?

The fact that we’re trying to walk the path of faith assumes we’re moving. As we move forward, we must correct our aim if we go too far left or right. Remember that the path is narrow and straight. We spend half our walk on the left foot and half on our right. The meanderings of our walk has nothing to do with our feet, but with our eyes.

Where is your aim? Are you seeking God with me?

Receiving Correction

2 Cor 13:7
Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong.

That would be nice. I would love to go to bed at night knowing that I did nothing wrong. However, I haven’t felt that way since I was a blissfully ignorant child.

Since perfection is something that only God is able to achieve, I would like to give us all a little hope. There is something we can do right. We can get in and stay in a relationship with God.

At times, our legs walk the path of faith like a newborn horse walks. We’re a little awkward at first, but we learn to step with grace the more we practice our new walk.

We are humans, and humans fail. We make mistakes every day. Even when we do our best, it seems our best just isn’t good enough. As toddlers, we learned to walk, and fall, and get back up. So it is with our faith walk. We will promise God something like “I’ll read the Bible in a year.” When we get busy and forget our commitment, we seem to have failed.

But God is merciful. He holds out His hand to us and helps us get back on our feet. He reminds us of our commitment and whispers hope, “The year isn’t over.”

God is a God of healing, restoration, and forgiveness. He’s not watching us, waiting for us to fail so He can say, “I told you so.” He expects us to do what is right. He’s given us every tool we need and His holy presence to guide us along the way. He expects us to receive His correction and get back on the path.

Here’s more of that 2 Corinthians message:

2 Corinthians 13:5-7
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.
When you are being taught by more experienced people and you see them do something wrong, does that give you permission to ignore the rest of their teaching? Why did you start listening to them? If it was worth your time to follow their advice in the beginning, their mistakes should cause you to try harder to do nothing wrong, not give up. In all things, no matter what people are doing around us, we are to do what is right.

2 Corinthians 8:21
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

Being Teachable

Psalm 143:10
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
I can learn to speak and write well, but if I have nothing to say, my expert skill means nothing. In 1 Corinthians 13:1, we read about a gong, clanging cymbal, or otherwise annoying sound being the same as anyone trying to be heard, but not trying to be loving in the midst of it. But don’t worry. God wants to teach us.

God gives His children many opportunities to receive His guidance. He gives us the gift of His Spirit. He is with us to teach us. If we can step out of our arrogant ways and learn to listen to Him, we’ll find our message to others will become more meaningful and better understood.

Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.”

Receiving correction from God is a necessary step for our success. He can give us worthy words for our messages to others. We must have the attitude that when we’re obedient to God, we can change the world. Looking to the world for ways to change is not the pathway to success. We must not turn to them for instruction because God’s instruction is righteous, holy, and full of goodness. God’s words are wisdom to us.

No matter how smart we think we are, being teachable is the first step down the pathway that will change the world.