Friday, February 25, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: Proverbs

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi.

Proverbs is a difficult book to just sit down and read; being a collection of short wise sayings, it is not at all linear. The wisdom that's there, covering so many topics, really needs to be taken in in small doses. Someone long ago noted that there are 31 chapters...pretty much corresponding to a month...and suggested reading the chapter for each day on a cycle. Not a bad idea.

I had decided earlier in the week what passage I would post for Proverbs; it's one of my favorites, but when I sat down to actually write today's post I felt like I should at least skim through and see if there was something else I needed to look at.

As I said, it's not easy to read straight through Proverbs. I hesitated, thinking I could just go with my favorite passage and move on. But I couldn't.

Sure enough, a passage caught my eye and stirred up some questions in my spirit and after I'd finished my scan, I came back to it.

Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;
rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
- Prov.9:8 - 9, NIV

Suddenly, I wondered: how do I accept rebuke, correction and/or instruction?

It chafes, my friend, it chafes. But as I read that, I realized it was a test of character...accepting the correction is synonymous with wisdom. Refusing it, being offended by it...that's equated with folly.

I don't think the chafing is the problem; of course it's going to chafe. Friction is what sands off the rough edges of a gem; correction sands off the rough selfish edges of character. If I focus on the chafing, I'll miss the point of the correction. I need to let the chafing do its work.

And I saw something else...a wise man still could take instruction. There's no 'arrival' at a place where all one does is teach others. There is always room for learning, always room for 'wiser still'

The hardest thing for someone who teaches to do is sit down and be taught. To be quiet while another teaches. But...for a wise person, to submit to another teacher is even more wisdom.

So...who am I, really? A wise person or a fool? It shows in how I take correction.

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