Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, But he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
This proverb is similar to the previous one. A contrast is made between the one who heeds instruction and the one who rejects reproof. The obedient one is on the path to life, but again, where we expect the contrast to be the path to death, it is about sin. This time, the observation goes further than noting that the disobedient is led to further sin. Rather, his disobedience leads others to sin.
In A Hymn to God the Father, a meditation on sin, John Donne writes: Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
It is a heavy burden to bear to be responsible for others going astray. Parents, keep this proverb in mind when you speak in front of your children against the authorities over you. Christian, keep this in mind when you publicly reject the teaching and reproof of the elders and ministers in your church. You may be bold enough to speak your mind or go your own way, but are you prepared to set such an example for others to follow? What will you say to your Lord who asks you to give an account, not only for your rejection of godly reproof, but for leading others to do the same?
Take care to listen to instruction. Be not quick to reject reproof. Even if you think the reproof is unjust, trust God to be using that reproof for your good. Take the time to consider it carefully. For more than your welfare may be at stake.
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