Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
Many people, including Christians, find criticism hard to accept, especially when the criticism seems to be unjustified. However, criticism (or reproof as the Bible refers to it) remains a useful tool in developing one’s character. Today’s text says, “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction.” In fact, the fool refuses to readily receive instruction, certain that he does not need to hear it. Yet, the prudent “regardeth reproof.” A prudent man will listen to the instructions or reproofs of others knowing that the Lord uses reproofs to adjust one’s shortcomings. The prudent man may or may not totally agree with the criticisms, but will listen to them knowing that God can still use these reproofs to change his heart.
- (For children): When adults point out something wrong, most of the time they are really trying to be helpful. Children really need to pay attention when these things are pointed out to them. These adults are simply helping us to grow in the Lord and be more like what God wants us to be.
- (For everyone): The last time you received reproof, did you do so with the right attitude? Were those things said, true or false? Have you asked God to verify the truth? Have you sought His face about this particular reproof?
- Do you see reproof as a good thing or a bad thing? When do you grow most in your Christian life: in times of unwarranted praise or in times of reproof and correction?
- Ask God to help you see the benefits of reproof.
- Ask God to bring you into contact with people who will reprove you when needed.
Song: Living for Jesus