A fool despises his father’s instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
The fool despises his father’s instruction, thinking that he is smarter than his father. In some ways he may be. He may know more than his father about technological gadgets. He knows more than his father about what is fashionable. He may have more street smarts. But what the son (or daughter) doesn’t know as well are the experiences of a longer life. What he lacks is maturity that comes with experience, especially the experience of making mistakes. He lacks the experience of playing the fool and then becoming wiser. Such wisdom a father (and mother) has to give.
This proverb is probably thinking not only of wisdom from experience, but the father who follows the law of God and thus imparts that law to his son through instruction and reproof. The fool rejects such instruction, not so much because he thinks he is wiser but because he wants to sin. He wants to do what he wants to do and not be restrained by law. Is this not ultimately why people reject the instruction of God the Father? They want to do what they want to do.
But like the fool who walks into his own downfall, so will all who reject God’s instruction and reproof in his Word. They are merely pronouncing their own sentence and shackling themselves to the bondage of sin. Heed instruction from the Word of God; bear willingly reproof based on God’s Word. Examine your heart today by the scripture you read, that you may heed reproof and be prudent.
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