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1 To accept correction is wise,
to reject it is stupid.
2The Lord likes everyone
who lives right,
but he punishes everyone
who makes evil plans.
3Sin cannot offer security!
But if you live right,
you will be as secure
as a tree with deep roots.
4A helpful wife is a jewel
for her husband,
but a shameless wife
will make his bones rot.
5Good people have kind thoughts,
but you should never trust
the advice of someone evil.
6Bad advice is a deadly trap,
but good advice
is like a shield.
7Once the wicked are defeated,
they are gone forever,
but no one who obeys God
will ever be thrown down.
8Good sense is worthy of praise,
but stupidity is a curse.
“To accept correction is wise, to reject it is stupid” (v 1). Did that first sentence cause you to pause? We may agree with it . . . but usually as far as it concerns other people, right? I don’t know about you, but I have yet to meet anyone who likes to be told they’re wrong, particularly about moral issues. Think back: how have you taken correction in the past?
We may be tempted to squirm away from this passage . . . maybe search elsewhere in Scripture for those verses that forbid Christians from judging or pointing fingers at others.
Trouble is, this passage doesn’t deal with the person doing the correcting; it deals with the person receiving the correction.
There’s no squirming away from what the writer is trying to tell us.
Look to verse eight: “Good sense is worthy of praise, but stupidity is a curse.” It’s an echo of verse one.
Now look at the verses between. They say the Lord favors those people who live according to his will, that they have his security, now and in eternity. They’re like the best friends, filled with kind thoughts that are helpful to others.
Those people who don’t live according to his will are making evil plans which offer no security from God, now or in eternity. They’re like the worst friends. They are not trustworthy.
Just as “bad advice is a deadly trap,” “good advice is like a shield” (v 6). If someone is trying to tell you that you’re wrong about how you are living, maybe they’re trying to protect you. Maybe rejecting their advice outweighs the cost of accepting it. Maybe rejecting their advice is just plain stupid.
Gracious Father, who gives so many chances and never gives up on us, please help us to be receptive to correction. May we hear your Holy Spirit convict us when we are sinning. Thank you for leading us into paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. In Christ’s name, Amen.