A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
The ultimate distinction between a man of understanding and a fool is not how well they do on an aptitude test but in how well they receive correction. Everyone will make mistakes; everyone sins. What then do they do when their mistake or sin is pointed out?
The fool insists he did not make a mistake or sin. Or he may acknowledge he is in the wrong but then continue in the same behavior. Even though he is reasoned with; even though he is disciplined, he only hardens his attitude. He has his own view of reality, and he will not change. In his folly he is filled with pride which only stiffens when rebuked and disciplined.
The man of understanding needs only a rebuke, and even then only a mild one, because knowing and doing what is right is of ultimate importance to him. He is grateful for correction even if the correction is harsh. It is better to him to be righted than to persist in error or sin. Because he possesses understanding, he is able to listen well and discern the truth of the correction. Because he is not full of foolish pride, he is able to give ear to what is said.
It is foolish, stubborn pride that makes fools out of us. I dont need this. I dont care what you say. Punish me all you want; Ill do what I want. Religion is for weaklings. Ill live the way I want. Such pride keeps a man from the rebuke that would lead to repentance and everlasting life. Such pride leads a man into an eternity of blows.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org