Proverbs 15:31–33 tells us, “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will dwell among the wise.
Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor” (ESV).
Not very many of us would admit this for ourselves. We would rather not ever have reproof leveled at us. Even though we may think that, it is something we need. Just think of all the times that you have received reproof, I’ll wait.
Now that you have thought on it what did you see. Maybe a small child running towards a busy street. Possibly a child reaching for a hot stove. Or maybe you thought of that time the police officer lectured you on driving 80 in a 70. Whichever thought you had they all were done for your benefit and growth in wisdom.
You may not think that was the case but it was. The busy street could have killed you. The hot stove could have maimed you for life. Speeding, though it may seem innocent, can lead to disaster and death. Regardless of which one it was, they each lead to your growth in wisdom.
Now if you ignore those reproof’s you are only despising yourself (v. 32). You are bringing hardship and affliction on yourself. You are saying “I am wiser and know more than you do.” You have then shown yourself as unwise. Wisdom is something we learn from the reproof of others.
So, don’t isolate yourself from people completely and ignore their wisdom. When you do you seek your “own desire” and you “break out against all sound judgment” (Prov. 18:1).
Although reproof will teach us wisdom, we must be cautious of those who give reproof. Not every one that seeks to teach us is wise themselves. Proverbs 15:2 tells us that, “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” So, learn from the reproof of others but use wisdom to discern whom you will learn from.