Proverbs 12:1, “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.”
Brutish. Oh it is an ugly word, isn’t it? I was challenged when I read this Scripture in my daily reading. I certainly didn’t think of myself as brutish. But the Word of God is powerful and the Holy Spirit convicted me that I am guilty.
I don’t like being reproved, do you? I don’t like being told what to do all the time. There are many times when my husband reproves me in order to get me in line. I don’t always like it. My first reaction is to resist on the inside even if I don’t show it on the outside. But now I realize this is brutish.
Many times my husband asks me to do many things, and I think, “I’m busier than you are.” My flesh does not like being ordered around. But once again, I realize this is brutish. I certainly don’t want to be brutish and so I repent and ask the Lord to give me a soft and responsive heart.
Oh it’s so easy to react in the flesh. The flesh does not like interruptions. The flesh does not like being reproved. The flesh does not like being told what to do. But are we going to walk according the to the flesh, or according to the Spirit of God who lives within us?
Many modern translations of Proverbs 12:1 read, “He who hates reproof is stupid.” “Stupid” is not as strong a word as “brutish” but it still reveals that it is an immature reaction. Children do not like to be reproved. It takes maturity to receive reproof with a soft and open heart. Reproof will bring us into a larger place in our lives. It is what makes us grow into the likeness of Jesus.
The psalmist cries out in Psalm 141:5, “Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him reprove me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it.” The psalmist states that receiving proof is like receiving the “oil of gladness” that was poured on the head on festive occasions. He does not resist it because he knows it will bless him and make him greater. The Living Bible says, “If they reprove me, it is medicine!”
The literal Hebrew meaning of this word “baar” means, “to be consumed.” If we do not allow the Spirit of God to soften our hearts in order to receive rebuke and admonition, we will end up being consumed with our own ways and desires. We will become eaten up with hurt and bitterness. We will be stubborn wives who end up destroying the marriage. We will be frustrated mothers for we will produce children with the same brutish spirit who will not receive reproof and instruction. Our children will receive rebuke and admonition in the same way that we receive it from our husband or from other people.
Proverbs 9:8-9, “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
Proverbs 10:17, “He who refuses reproof goes astray.”
Isaiah 66:2, “But to this man will I look; even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.”
I think that one of the greatest blessings that we can allow the Lord to work in us is a soft and sensitive heart toward Him, toward our husband and toward others. This is also one of the greatest prayers that we can pray for our children, that they also will have soft hearts to hear and obey the Lord.
Let us cast every tendency to brutishness out of our hearts.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh God, please save me from having a brutish spirit. Oh Spirit of God, please move upon my heart and work in me a contrite and humble spirit. Give me a heart that can receive reproof with joy, knowing that this will enable me to grow into a larger place in my walk with You. Thank you, Lord.”
I will not resist admonition but embrace it with joy.