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Wise people are open to correction.
If you are anything like me, you spend more time thinking about how to address the foibles of others than you do listening to their corrections of you.
It is tricky to work out how to rebuke someone else well, but are we the kind of people who can receive a difficult message?
Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
The proverb above likens having an ear open to correction to an earring or jewellery of fine gold. It adorns and enhances the person.
Are we a church where encouragement is freely given and correction is invited? Having a personal or congregational culture of only one or the other is not good. Correction only can crush, and encouragement only can be stifling.
But also note that having a listening ear doesn’t mean you need to take on board what everyone says. Don’t just listen to anyone. Develop an ear that listens to the rebuke of a wise judge—a person who can discern truth and error, wisdom and foolishness, and teach it. Look out for wise people who input God’s truths into your life, and give you good advice.
So, let’s develop our hearts and ears ready to receive correction from the word of God and from one another. Such a disposition is more valuable than gold, and more striking as well.
– Sam Pursell
Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
I love warm crumpets with butter and honey! Such a simple breakfast pleasure helps start a day off well. Honey (and crumpets!) bring health, energy and joy.
The simple analogy of this proverb is that like honey, there is life-giving sweetness to be found in the wisdom of God’s word. But unlike honey, we cannot have too much of God’s wisdom! And not only does it set us up for the day, God’s wisdom sets us up even beyond this life.
So, how is your appetite – not for honey, but for wisdom from God?
If you haven’t developed the taste, each day just read a bit of the Bible – even a little – so that over time you come to love it for yourself. And in doing so, you will have joy and hope that sustains you not just for one day, but eternally. Your life and wisdom will be in God, who is the world’s only secure hope.
Growing deeper in the scriptures is not just about reading, but holding it in our mind as you would savour honey on your tongue. In doing so we can ponder on its meaning for us today and personalise it. Through that we are changed and enlivened for God. What a sweet gift God has given us in the Bible!
– Sam Pursell