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The One Heeding Reproof Is Honored
Proverbs 13:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
but he who heeds reproof is honored.
Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction: The Hebrew word (resh) rendered poverty is the economic condition of one who lacks the basic financial and material necessities of life, who in all likelihood will have to beg to survive; while disgrace (Heb. qalon) is speaking of one who has socially lost the respect of others, who is now in a state of dishonor. The Hebrew (musar) behind instruction and can be rendered discipline, which is training or teachings of principles or accepted or known truths that enable one to improve oneself. (Ps 50:17; Prov. 1:8; 15:33; 23:12) This instruction can be a minor punishment that may come in the form of a correction or a rebuke, which is ignored and thus, brings on poverty and shame. (Prov. 3:11) This economic condition of poverty and social condition of disgrace (shame) is a direct result of ignoring, namely, willfully paying no attention, that is, rejecting, the instruction or teaching of the wisdom that comes from God’s Word.
but he who heeds reproof is honored: On the other hand, the one who heeds (Heb. shomer) or regards reproof (Heb. tokachath), that is, accept rebukes, corrective counsel is one who is able to be observant, be careful, beware, pay attention make sure or certain, guard oneself, learn and recall things he has learned, which enable him to watch for danger.
We will become wise the moment that we can accept or even request reproof, that is constructive criticism. Sound advice from a source of wisdom, be it, one with more life experience or especially the Word of God can be most helpful. The key word above is that corrective counsel must be heeded. It does no good to get a car if you do not drive it, to receive money or food if you do not use it, and more importantly, to receive wise counsel from the Word of God or one with more life experience and then not pay attention to it, not apply it. Why? Because such corrective counsel can save us a lot of headaches and heartaches, anxiety, stress, and depression, not to mention, it can help us avoid the tragedies Satan’s world throws at us. If we neglect this corrective counsel, it will bring us disgrace, shame, dishonor as we live in poverty.
Yes, it is comforting to receive praise and commendations from others, as it will certainly lift us up emotionally and encourage us to make even more personal and spiritual progress in our lives. However, the real path to success comes from reproof and rebukes, corrective counsel if we can humbly accept it. Ponder for a moment the two letters that the apostle Paul wrote young Timothy. It must have felt very good to get commended for his faithfulness. However, the gold nuggets of those letters were the counsel that Timothy humbly heeded. Paul exhorted Timothy to hold onto his faith and to retain his good conscience, and to do so as he dealt justly with others in the Christian congregation. He further encouraged Timothy to develop godly devotion and to be self-sufficient, to wisely take the vast knowledge that he had received as Paul’s traveling companion for fifteen years and to instruct others as he has been instructed, and to resist the apostasy, as he carried out his ministry after Paul was gone. The young one is the Christian congregation would be humble and wise id they not only expected but welcomes constructive counsel from the more experienced ones.
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