Brute beast

Proverbs, Chapter 12, Verse 1 (Amplified Bible)

Whoever loves instruction and correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is like a brute beast, stupid and indiscriminating.

But who doesn’t hate reproof? Do I hate reproof? Let’s see if I can recall a specific incidence where I appreciated reproof. No, appreciate is too weak a word. How about the opposite of hate? Can I think of a time when I really loved a reproof, when I rejoiced in criticism, when I truly appreciated getting called out on a failure?

Now that I  think of it, that happened just a half hour ago. I was very thankful for reproof, even joyful because of the promise of victory it brought. I had been praying for several weeks for better health and greater strength with regard to a specific aspect of my physical self. This morning the answer came to me. I was sad that I had lacked understanding and discipline in regard to the problem earlier, but very, very happy that now I could see the source ofthe problem and with it the hope of a solution.

I guess it’s easier to accept reproof in answer to prayer than unanticipated reproof.

It also occurs to me that at times I welcome external reproof and sometimes abhor it, particularly if I consider the reproof unjustified. But Proverbs 12:1 doesn’t say anything about the veracity or accuracy of the reproof. So I  must cultivate the humility that welcomes all reproof, whether it is 100% accurate or totally without basis in my opinion. The issue is that another being  is concerned enough to bring it to my attention. For this I should be thankful.

I also need to recognize that sometimes I may perceive some comment as a reproof when it may not have been intended as such. Now, that happens to me a lot. So I must cultivate a humble spirit that realizes I may not always be the best judge of  my own behavior.

So the take away from this meditation on Proverbs 12:1, is that I must welcome all reproof! Even if it comes from an animal. Have you ever felt your dog was criticizing you? Now this opens a whole new chapter, Critter Criticism! Yes, indeed. There was Balaam’s ass. Subject for some other time.

Empty swelling

Proverbs, Chapter 11, Verse 2

When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness.

The word “emptiness” jumped out at me today when I read this passage. What exactly is personal emptiness? How can it be defined neurologically, physiologically, and biochemically? Is it emotional, spiritual, intellectual? What exactly is it?

Next, the word “chiseled” caught my attention. I hope I have had enough chiseling and pruning by trial. Maybe, though, it is an ongoing necessity for me.

Indulgent neglect

This just in. Venting my frustration here. I am an old school father who believes in regular dinner time and healthy food for children. There must be lots of  young mom’s out there who understand the importance of discipline and nutrition in the life of a child. It’s just that I don’t know any! I get so frustrated when I see a mom take her child on her knees in front of the computer to eat junk food when it’s time the child should be seated and having a real and healthy meal.

I don’t believe there is much hope for these kids. They will likely lose out as adults to stronger, healthier individuals who learned discipline in childhood.

Both Jeremy Bentham and Charles Dickens advise against imputing motive. Even so, I suspect that often the indulgent mom does what she does to make herself feel good, not for the true benefit of the child. My sampling of experience indicates that too many moms behave this way. After all, it is an easier path. Essentially it is a lazy path. It is a job to discipline a child properly and successfully with love and empathy. On the other hand, it is easy, very easy to feed them candy and park them in front of the TV. And no government bureaucracy exists that can protect kids against this kind of abuse and neglect.

I think the perfect social storm is brewing.

Diamond talk

Proverbs 8 (Amplified Bible)

All the words of my mouth are righteous (upright and in right standing with God); there is nothing contrary to truth or crooked in them.

What a daunting standard! If this had been without exception my code of verbal conduct my entire life, how much better off would I be now?!! I’d have more friends. I’d be healthier. I’d be wealthier. I’d be more successful in every way. I pray that from this moment forward this will be my standard, the diamond standard of speech. I pray that every time I begin to formulate an utterance in my mind that is contrary to this standard, the Holy Spirit will warn me, strongly (because I can be self absorbed), to erase that thought and come out with something much superior or if not, nothing at all.

Wise ants

Proverbs, Chapter 6

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!—

Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler,

Provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest.

Lord, do I ever need help being wise as the ant. I need to always do things at the appropriate time. Instead I procrastinate quite often. I can’t afford to be a procrastinating sluggard any more.

Seven falls

When I was a child, the family owned property with a swimming hole called Twin Falls. Most kids today probably don’t know what a swimming hole is. Anyhow, it was lots of fun. Seven falls, though, don’t make for much fun.

Proverbs 24

16 For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

I have fallen a lot. Help me, Lord, be righteous so you can lift me up and keep me up!

Wisdom like honey

Proverbs 24 (Amplified Bible)

14 So shall you know skillful and godly Wisdom to be thus to your life {like honey}; if you find it, then shall there be a future and a reward, and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off.

Father, please guide and attune me to skillful and godly wisdom and usher me into a future, a reward, hope, and expectation.

Knowledge increases power

Proverbs 24

A wise man is strong and is better than a strong man, and a man of knowledge increases and strengthens his power;

For by wise counsel you can wage your war, and in an abundance of counselors there is victory and safety.

Lord, lead me to the abundance of counselors I need for victory and safety!