Proverbs 12:1 (NKJV) — 1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.
Instruction, knowledge, and correction. Not only do we see the relationship between instruction and knowledge in this verse, but also the relationship between these two and correction. Instruction and knowledge go together. There will be no knowledge where there is no instruction. Instruction can come from the school of life, but often an actual human teacher will be involved. In fact, human teachers are necessary in the church. (See Romans 12:4-7; I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11-12.)
The word stupid tends to be so offensive many well-spoken people rarely use it. The KJV uses “brutish” instead. But more recent translations agree with the NKJV. The Hebrew baar, translated “stupid” is defined as “senseless, i.e., pertaining to lacking understanding, but implying other negative moral imperfections as well” (James A. Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains [Logos Bible Software]).
The person described as “stupid” hates being told what to do. This person will never have true knowledge, for instruction often takes the form of correction. For example, when an answer on a test is marked wrong, that is both correction and instruction. When a trainee has to be shown again how to do his job, that is both correction and instruction. A person who is willing to accept correction will find that it contributes greatly to his education.
A reminder: These “Daily Wisdom” comments are drawn from my commentary on the Book of Proverbs, which is titled Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World. The book is published by Word Aflame Press and is available at pentecostalpublishing.com and from Amazon and Apple Books.