Written by Grace Dile

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
Proverbs 12:1 NIV

I love how right from the very beginning Solomon tells you rather bluntly the truth of the matter.  To gain any knowledge or wisdom you have to be able to deal with, or even love discipline.  Who likes discipline?  Most people don’t even want to be disciplined, let alone love it!  As stated in the verse, if you love discipline then you love knowledge.  It’s just like a parent with their child.  Parents discipline their children in order for them to learn; even if at the time the child feels it isn’t quite fair.  The parents are doing it for their best interest just like God does it for us (His children’s) best interest.  On the other hand, hating correction is stupid.  Some people seem to think that everything they say and do is always right.  In reality, you might need some correction along the way.  Correction may come from a friend, neighbor, parent, teacher, or a co-worker.  As believers we also need to listen to the voice of GOD correcting us in the midst of our mistakes and sins, even if we don’t always like what He’s telling us to correct.

Solomon says that fools think their way is right and show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult and listen to advice.  Have you ever been insulted by someone?  I bet it didn’t give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside afterwards!  One key word here is: “overlook”.  When insulted the smart thing to do is just fire back another insult at them, right?  Wrong.  That’s what a fool would do.  We need to learn to overlook insults thrown our way.  During Jesus’ last few days on earth he himself was insulted by many.  He was flogged, beaten, spat on, and a crown of thorns was placed upon his head in mockery.  Yet while he was hanging on the cross he exclaims, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 32:34 NIV).  After everything people said and did to Jesus, he still forgave each and every one of them.  Forgiving and overlooking insults aren’t always easy but they ARE always wise.  Jesus overlooked insults and so can we.

As you continue to read, we are told that reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing (V. 18).  Reckless words harm but wise words heal.  Reckless words could be anything from cursing, to lying, to gossiping, to belittling.  Whereas wise words are: encouraging, truthful, loving, and uplifting.  Words are more powerful than we can fathom – like a sword.  But we can bring healing to others with our words instead of harm! 

In conclusion the last verse states: “In the way of the righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality” (V. 28).  Immortality means the ability to live forever; eternal life.  So why do we fear death?  The unknown?  Leaving the ones we love?  For many, death is the dark end of life.  But for believers, death is a new, bright beginning to a better life!  We need not fear death if we believe because it is not the end, but the beginning.  The beginning of eternal life with Him.  Eternity is a gift from God through Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  All you have to do is accept the gift and believe in it to receive it.