Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31
“Unfortunately, we had a pretty hard conversation recently,” said Shellie. “I don’t think either of us enjoyed it, but I really felt her attitude and actions needed to be addressed in order to keep from hurting those around her.” Shellie was talking about the young woman she mentors. Although uncomfortable, their conversation was fruitful and actually strengthened their relationship. Just a few weeks later, the two women led a church-wide prayer time with the theme of humility.
Even outside of a formal mentoring relationship, we’ll face a tough conversation or two with a brother or sister in Christ. In Proverbs, a book full of timeless wisdom, the importance of humility in giving and receiving correction is a repeated theme. In fact, constructive criticism is called “life-giving” and leads to true wisdom (Proverbs 15:31). Proverbs 15:5 says a fool spurns discipline, while those who heed correction show good judgment. Put plainly, “the one who hates correction will die” (v. 10). As Shellie witnessed, truth spoken in love can bring new life to a relationship.
Is there someone in your life to whom a word of loving, life-giving correction should be spoken? Or perhaps you have recently received wise admonition and been tempted to respond with anger or indifference. To disregard discipline is to despise oneself, but to heed correction is to gain understanding (v. 32). Let’s ask God to help us give and receive correction with humility today.
How do you handle constructive criticism? What does humility look like?
Dear God, I seek Your wisdom. Please give me a humble heart, ready to receive life-giving correction.
In the book of Proverbs, the wise are the righteous who obey God and live according to the Scriptures (15:31; see 2:20; 9:9; 10:8). The fool, on the other hand, despises His instructions (1:7; 2:12–15; 10:23; see Psalm 14:1). Solomon contrasted the attitudes, actions, and words of the wise and the foolish (primarily in Proverbs 10:1–15:33). Proverbs 15 describes a godly person as one who is discerning (v. 21), seeks godly counsel (v. 22), speaks graciously (v. 23), lives cautiously (v. 24), and shows humility (v. 25). The righteous are pure in heart (v. 26), honest (v. 27), self-controlled (v. 28), prayerful (v. 29), joyful (v. 30), teachable (vv. 31–32), and fear God (v. 33). The imperative for such a God-honoring life is stated in Proverbs 1:7 and again in 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
To learn more about the book of Proverbs, visit https://odbu.org/courses/ot021/?utm_source=August+2+ODB+Insight+&utm_medium=email%2C+app%2C+web&utm_campaign=Reading+the+Proverbs+ODBU-ODB+.