Friday, January 13, 2012

Stupid is as Stupid Does...

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid. 


a : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner
b : lacking intelligence or reason
c : marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting 

When did stupid become a bad word?  I mean, come on?!  There are a lot of really vulgar words out there.  I hear them all the time.  I'll admit it, I have said one or two.  But my regular vocabulary does not include those words.  But stupid seems to be new to the list of unacceptable language.  I actually remember a period of time, somewhere around 1999, that I began to realize stupid was a word that I was going to have to remove from my everyday vocabulary.  And I remember being baffled a little by that.  But stupid isn't slang.  It isn't a cuss word.  It is a very descriptive purposeful word.  So I began to get a little miffed that I had to relegate the use of that word to quiet conversations with my husband for fear that some kid was gonna say, "OOOHH! You said a baaad word!"  Believe it or not, I actually had a very long debate with a friend in the company of my incredulous family over the acceptability of said word.  And when I say very long debate, I mean VERY long, PAINFULLY long.  Yeah, you don't want to debate with me, cause I don't stop! 

Now don't get me wrong, I realize this word has been grossly misused.  Schoolyard bullies and abusive adults have damaged others by their cowardly name calling.  It is NEVER okay to insult others with any descriptive adjectives. But that is, in fact, what this word is, a descriptive adjective.  And as with any adjective, it can be hurtful and misused.  But do we still call it a bad word when it's in the Bible?  If you can't tell, this is a wee-little soapbox of mine.  When I was studying this morning and came across this verse, I have to admit, I felt a little swell of pride.  I didn't go looking for a version of the Bible that termed this in just such a way, it just so happens that the brilliant scholars that translated the ESV (version that I use) agree with me :)  

Okay, enough of that.  In all seriousness.  Nobody wants to be thought of as stupid.  So why is it that we so quickly reject sound counsel when it disagrees with our sensibilities?  Why do we puff up whenever we receive correction?  It's because we wanna be right.  Nobody wants to be right more than me, I can guarantee it.  But I would rather know His Words than be a know-it-all.  So I have to accept that, quite often, I am wrong and need correcting.

Throughout the Scriptures, the author warns about the consequences of resisting or rejecting reproof.  Reproof is defined as moral correction, that is, correction of character, decision-making, judgment or values. It isn't easy to have someone correct us.  But the Bible says that it is necessary for life and knowledge and growth.  It takes discipline and correction to grow in maturity and wisdom.  And yet, we fight it tooth and nail.  We think we know it all and have arrived.  We think we can't be taught.  And dangerously at times, we defend our actions by saying, "God told me to...." or "I heard a Word from the Lord."  To that I say, if it's not written in His Word and wise, Godly counsel is telling you that you are making a mistake that needs correcting, you should probably realize that what you heard was your own voice talking and not that of the Lord.  It's easy to pin things on the Holy Spirit just to justify our stubborn efforts.  But the Bible warns us about this.  Fourteen times in particular we see this specific use of the word "reproof" in the Book of Proverbs, and each time, the writer gives an unflattering, blistering description of the outcome when one does not accept such correction or showers of blessings to those that listen. Simple, foolish, evil, scoffer, the brink of utter ruin, shame, and stupid or praised, upright, way of life, blessed, loved, and wise?  Which list of descriptions do you want said of you?

Remember what Mama always says...

No comments:

Post a Comment