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Maybe you don’t let your children use words like that, but did you know that God’s word uses this “banned word” very plainly?

Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,

But he who hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 12:1

I wondered if my translation was just more crass or something, so I went to the ‘internets’ and found this Scripture faithfully uses the word stupid in at least nine translations, with the alternatives being fool, brutish, carnal, and dumb animal.

He who hates correction is a dumb animal.

Is God just a big bully who is using mean words here? Why would the Holy Spirit inspire Solomon to write such harsh things to his readers? Perhaps these descriptors are necessary and truthful.  Sometimes in our desire to sanitize things, we miss the meaning.  I pray you, we, do not miss the meaning today.

As mamas, we know how frustrating it is to teach a child something over and over again.  We shouldn’t become frustrated at their immaturity and lack of experience, but often we do.  Our gentle instruction teaches a child the correct way to fold a washcloth, to wash a dish, to make a bed, to spell a word, to use polite words.  Explaining once doesn’t usually do the trick.  Our children need instruction again and again.  Eventually, though, this instruction becomes knowledge and second-hand skills.  

As adults, we really aren’t that much different than children who need instruction again and again.  But, often we think we need to look our best around others.  If we do something wrong, we bristle and hate any correction from our spouse, our boss, even our pastors.  It’s embarrassing as an adult.  Our pride is strong and we hate admitting we’re wrong.

When others correct us, we hate the correction.  And sometimes we hate the corrector.

God plainly says, “You are stupid” when you do this.  

Whoa.  You may be thinking, “But I thought God was loving.  Why would He call me stupid?”  He calls you stupid because He loves you!  If you, again–if WE, continue in our pride and refuse to hear correction from others, there is no other path we will be on except the path of the fool, the path of the stupid, the path of nothing else than a dumb animal.

Does this post rub you the wrong way?  Is it bristly?  Of course you know it’s meant to be.  Most of us read this verse in Proverbs and disregard our culpability.  Surely, I am not stupid.  Of course I can listen to correction.  And yet, when my husband speaks the truth about something sinful I’ve done, what do I do?  Yell…pout…silent treatment…withhold sex…?

How do you respond to correction?  It’s not easy, I’m not saying it is.  But, as we humble ourselves before God He will lift us up.  He will pour on the balm of forgiveness and remove our shame and guilt.

Who corrects you?  Does anyone correct you?  Is it possible that you’ve chased off everyone who speaks words of life to you–words that are corrective?  Who surrounds you?  Are they all your “yes-men” or do they offer help that you didn’t even realize you needed?

As I decrease more and more, and Jesus increases more and more in my life, my need for correction is clearer.  This means I see my sin more clearly.  And, this is wise because that means I see my need for Jesus!  Our refusal to hear and receive correction is stupid because it keeps us from seeing our true need for Jesus.  If we don’t need correction, then we don’t have any need for Jesus, our Savior and Lord, our gentle Guide, our knowing and loving Father, who instructs us every day of our lives…until our death, He will give us a clearer understanding of how He is refining us, changing us, correcting us, molding us into the image of His Son, Jesus.

Love, Wendy


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