Verse 12: “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”
As much as we may want to share, some things cannot be gifted. I can receive or give good advice, but the wisdom is in the person that receives it. Wise people take advice and are wiser for it. Notice earlier in verse 9, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” It says, “GIVE INSTRUCTION” and a wise man will be wiser still. It doesn’t say GIVE WISDOM. Again, wisdom is in the receiver. A foolish man can be exposed to instruction all day long and it has no bearing on the giver’s status. A fool will despise instruction and remain a fool; a wise man will receive instruction and increase in wisdom. The point of today’s “gold nugget” is, “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”
You will either be wiser or continually foolish of your own accord. Maybe it’s better said, of your own choice. What is the key element that makes the difference? The key is humility. Many of us would rather give instruction whether we posses wisdom or not. As a matter of fact... if we are more focused on giving instruction than we are receiving it, we exemplify foolishness. In the act of choosing to give instruction rather than receiving it we, by definition, scoff wisdom and inherit foolishness. Humble yourself, receive instruction, gain wisdom and exemplify the character that God has intended for us. The ironic thing is, the more we do this, the more we will be put into positions of giving instruction.
Lord, help me to be more receptive to instruction and open to correction. Help me to be humble without having to be humiliated. Amen
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