Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Are You Stupid?

Ok, I have to admit I couldn't resist the title. I was reading in Proverbs today when I came across chapter 12 verse 1. "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid." So there it is, the "s" word as we refer to it in our household. While we shouldn't make a habit out of referring to anyone with that term, I think it is important to evaluate ourself in regards to that Scripture. So, here we go...are you stupid? Do you struggle with correction? I'm thinking when defined like this verse in Proverbs, I definitely resemble that "s" word on occasion.

Think about it for a moment. Have you ever been sitting in church when the minister says something that hits you right between the eyes? Not a condemning word, but one that you know deep down is right on and yet there's something in you that is ready to reject that thing? Perhaps, you start looking for some Scripture that can support your position and prove his position to be in error. Or, better yet you just try to find someone who will agree with you. Its amazing how often we reject the truth as long as we can get a couple people who can agree with us. Have you ever had a difficult time being corrected or receiving instruction from a parent, a teacher, a boss, a co-worker, a friend, or anyone else? If so, then I hate to say it but....well, let's just say God's Word indicates that you may not be acting intelligently.

As I mentioned earlier, I too seem to act a bit unintelligent at times. There are certainly times in my life when I struggle with receiving correction with a good attitude. Although, I am much better than when I was a teen, there are still moments in my life when confronted with correction that my first impulse is to get defensive. Not sure if you can relate, but my heart starts beating fast, I can feel the blood pressure rising, and I guess its that spirit of "stupid" that begins to take over. It makes no difference if its a person or the Holy Spirit speaking to me personally through God's Word, when I am confronted I usually offer a bit of a fight.

Of course, there are times in our lives when those attempting to correct us have impure motives, but that's not really the point. The point is the attitude of "our" heart. I have discovered throughout the course of my life that even when confronted with correction at the hands of those whose motives are way off, truth can still be imparted to us. Let's face it truth is truth regardless of where it comes from. As the parent of a 7 year old and a 4 year old, I have discovered that God can even offer correction and instruction through their mouths and actions. I'm even reminded of Balaam in Scripture who had a quick course correction when his donkey spoke up and warned Him that his head was about to be chopped off. Yes, God can use anything or any means necessary to bring correction and instruction our way. The key is whether or not our heart is willing to receive it. Those who receive that correction are better for it and those who don't, well, we know what Scripture says of them.

Because we are all on a journey tainted with imperfection, we are constantly in need of correction along the way. When we are teachable and maintain an of attitude of humility, then growth on that journey is much quicker. On the contrary, when we walk through life unteachable and full of pride, not only is our growth in spiritual things stunted, but at some point destruction awaits. Now, while I don't like thinking of myself as stupid, I am more disturbed by the fact that around some corner, destruction is waiting for me. Continuing on a path knowing that it leads to destruction is like driving through a road block that warns a bridge is out. Now, maybe you're ok, with the whole destruction thing, and if so then, go for it. But, as for me I'm thinking I have to agree with Scripture when it says that's just stupid.

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