Prov. 9:9 “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”Prov. 15:32 “He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.”
Receiving instruction or correction is never easy – for anyone! But what we do with the instruction is what distinguishes between the wise and the foolish person. I can recall receiving instruction early in my Christian walk. I remember thinking “How dare she say that to me! Who does she think she is, super Christian or something?” How ashamed I am today for even having those thoughts. All this sweet precious sister wanted to do was to help me to grow in the Lord. I, on the other hand, let the devil stir up resentment and I allowed pride to rear its ugly head in my life. Praise God for giving me a patient spiritual mother who loved me and wanted to see me grow in Him! o/
Receiving correction and instruction is like exercising a muscle actually. The more we open our hearts to receiving correction and instruction, the easier it becomes – we become stronger in the faith, we gain understanding and we become wiser. Each time we are corrected, the “pill” becomes easier to swallow and we receive the instruction with a more thankful spirit.
On the other hand, the Lord tells us that if we refuse instruction we despise our own soul! The Holy Spirit’s jobs are to teach us and to glorify Jesus Christ. John 16:13-14, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (13) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.(14) Who better to teach us than the One who wrote the Scriptures (2 Pet. 1:21)? As He teaches us and we grow, we become more Christ-like and we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We teach our children the Word of God and its instructions, don’t we? We teach our children to be good citizens, don’t we? The Holy Spirit wants to do the same for us.
How can we bear the fruit of the Spirit if we refuse instruction? How is it in your home with your children? If our children refuse our instruction, do they become better and more well behaved? If we don’t instruct them to do right, what will they learn? They’ll learn what the world has to offer. It’s the same with our own spiritual lives. If we do not receive instruction, either from the Word, the Pastor, or a dear friend, we become like our undisciplined children. Do we really want to be this way? I would hope not. Speaking from experience, it takes more energy out of me to fight the Holy Spirit and His instructions than it does for me to simply submit and grow in Him.
Let’s be like the wise man of Prov. 9:9 and receive instruction so we can become wiser in the Lord. It is then that the precious fruit of the Spirit becomes evident in our lives. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Gal 5:22) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal 5:23) Do we really think that a person who refuses instruction from God would display these same fruit? It’s something to think about the next time a dear brother/sister in Christ comes to us and tries to correct us.
I always think of this Psalm when something offends me: Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165) If we love the Lord and His Word, will we be offended when we are instructed? No, in fact we are promised great peace! Thank You, Lord!
Oh may I always love Your Word
And live by It with each day
May I be open to instruction
So You can guide me along my way