Proverbs 12:1

Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

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Do you love to be taught? Do you love to be corrected? Do you love to be told you are wrong? Do you appreciate those who tell you how it ought to be done? Are you thankful for reminders to change? Wise and noble men and women will strongly answer, “Yes!”

To grow in knowledge, someone must teach you. You must submit your mind and will to them. You admit their superiority in knowledge. You admit your inferiority. This requires humility, which most do not have. Only noble souls can willingly submit and be taught by another person. In order to love knowledge, you must love to be taught by others.

To grow in knowledge, you must admit ignorance or error. For either you did not know the truth about a subject, or you held a false position on that topic. You may even have taught others wrongly, and you will have to admit you taught them an error. Only noble souls can admit ignorance or error, for most men will protect their reputation at any cost.

To grow in knowledge, you must change. Progress requires change, but change is humbling and difficult. Change means letting others see you were wrong; change means altering long-established habits; change means explaining your new actions to others. Only noble souls can change, for the cost of changing is too great for most men.

If you do not like to be taught, you are like an animal. If you chafe under correction, you are like a beast. If you resent being told you are wrong, you are an irrational brute.

Brutish. Of or pertaining to the brutes, or lower animals, as opposed to man. Pertaining to, resembling, or characteristic of the brutes: in want of intelligence or in failure to use reason: dull, irrational, uncultured, stupid.

Thank you, Preacher Solomon, for not being politically correct. Thank you for teaching plainly that resisting instruction is foolish and brutish. Thank you for commanding men to love instruction and reproof by this proverb. Reader, do not be base like brute animals (Ps 32:9; Pr 26:3). Rise up to thank God for sending teachers to instruct and reprove you.

Parents teach children, and only brutish children resist or resent it. Parents know far more than their children, have a long-term perspective, and care about the right things. It is a stupid child that ignores or hates instruction and reproof from his parents. His only hope for success in life is to learn humility and receiving instruction under his parent-teachers.

Masters teach servants, and only brutish servants resist or resent being told how to do a job. The master is more gifted, has much more at stake, sees the big picture, has done the job longer, and has the right to do things his way. Servants are just laborers, and they should be happy to listen, learn, and do it the master’s way, especially Christian servants.

Pastors teach church members, and only brutish church members ignore, resist, or resent it. The pastor is the messenger of the Lord of hosts, and he brings inspired wisdom and truth from Scripture. The Bereans were noble for having ready minds to receive the preaching (Acts 17:11). Paul commanded, “Despise not prophesyings” (I Thess 5:20).

Dear reader, the greatest key to progress and success, in any area of your life, is your appreciation and acceptance of instruction and reproof. Did you read it? Do you believe it? Will you show it in your life? If you do not receive teaching and change your life when you are reproved, you are like an animal in the sight of God and wise men.

Jesus Christ has much to teach you to make you perfect. And it will only happen if you are ready to receive instruction, and if you love reproof. If you are humbly eager to be taught of Him, He will send teachers to increase your knowledge, like He did the Ethiopian eunuch, Saul of Tarsus, and Cornelius (Acts 8:26-40; 9:1-22; 10:1-6).