Proverbs 12

Proverbs 12

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12   Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but he who hates reproof is stupid.
  A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
    but a man of evil devices he condemns.
  No one is established by wickedness,
    but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
    but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
  The thoughts of the righteous are just;
    the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
  The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
  The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous will stand.
  A man is commended according to his good sense,
    but one of twisted mind is despised.
  Better to be lowly and have a servant
    than to play the great man and lack bread.
  Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
  Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
  Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
  An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
    but the righteous escapes from trouble.
  From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
    and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
    but a wise man listens to advice.
  The vexation of a fool is known at once,
    but the prudent ignores an insult.
  Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
    but a false witness utters deceit.
  There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
  Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
  Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
    but those who plan peace have joy.
  No ill befalls the righteous,
    but the wicked are filled with trouble.
  Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
    but those who act faithfully are his delight.
  A prudent man conceals knowledge,
    but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
  The hand of the diligent will rule,
    while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
  Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
    but a good word makes him glad.
  One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
    but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
  Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
    but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
  In the path of righteousness is life,
    and in its pathway there is no death.


Proverbs 12 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Correction is never easy.   Discipline is harder.  Both go hand in hand when a person acts stupid.  Wow, a bold statement right?  But ironically the Bible calls certain people stupid (original Hebrew written by Solomon) when they refuse to handle being corrected or accept discipline.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”

Proverbs 12:1

Giving examples of various relationships, chapter 12 is a comparison between the upright and the wicked.  The difference between the author points toward our willingness to learn.  Learn from our mistakes, learn from our sinful pride and humility needed, learn from those times we are simply stupid in what we say or do.  It’s probably true we all enjoy learning on some level, but this also includes learning through discipline and correction.

When someone holds a refusal to be teachable in their ways and attitudes, when they cannot accept constructive criticism even, they have a problem with pride.  For many, it is nearly impossible for them to admit they were wrong or have sinned against another.  Sadly, these who are so taken by their own pride are the ones in the dark.  Most have their number when it’s apparent they won’t apologize for something they’ve done or said and definitely won’t accept any help toward rebuilding what was torn down.  Relationships ripped asunder because of this lack of humility.

No one likes to be corrected or disciplined but it makes each of us a better person.  Spiritually speaking, wrestling down our pride with the Holy Spirit’s assistance is a battle we must face head-on. He cares deeply for us in our sinful attitude of self and continues to call us toward the humility Jesus lived.

Where has your own pride gotten in the way and ruined relationships?  Where has your lack of ownership to things having gone wrong established a lack of trust in you as a person?  What is the character others perceive you have?  Make things right in humility with God on these issues.  Pick up the phone and own up with the people you’ve offended through your pride.

Let’s put stupid away.

Proverbs 12 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Discipline is hard. Accepting instruction is difficult. They both require us to delay our satisfaction. When we are in the middle of being corrected, it can feel threatening. Our flesh wants to resist becoming vulnerable. But in time, that correction will reap a great harvest. This is why wisdom and correction go hand-in-hand. The wise person understands the end result of discipline.

“I was stupid and didn’t understand; I was an unthinking animal toward You.”

Psalms 73:22 HCSB 

The Bible often associates those who hate discipline with the animal kingdom. Animals are instinctual. They are territorial. Outside of divine intervention, they always do what benefits themselves in the short term.

“But one who hates (Pro 1:22) reproof stands outside the divine realm of sensible discourse and belongs to the animal kingdom (cf. Pro 9:3). Ignoramus [“senseless,” NIV] “refers to a stupid man who does not have the rationality that differentiates men from animals (Psa 73:22).”

New International Commentary

How can it be that someone would actually look forward to discipline? To the wise, discipline is not just a place to see your own wrongdoing, it is a place to experience insight. It is a place where we can experience the divine hand of God making real changes in our lives.

“The man who loves instruction is a man who has a true estimate of what is top priority and what is really of superior value. That means that he will listen to instruction. However, I must say that after getting folk to listen to the Word of God, one of the great problems is getting them to obey what it says. Obedience is absolutely essential.”

J. Vernon McGee
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