Proverbs: Living Wisely – Reproof

MONDAY, MARCH 6

READ
Proverbs 29:1; 1 Corinthians 1:26–31; 1 Peter 5:5–6

REFLECT
Reproof is the act of someone showing disapproval for an action or even a way of living, while “stiffening one’s neck” means to ignore the reproof.

1. What causes people to ignore the advice of others? (Look at verse 23 if you need help.) 
2. What does this passage mean when it says they will be “broken beyond healing”?
3. Why does the 1 Corinthians passage say that if we boast, we should boast in God?
4. To what kind of person does God extend grace?

RESPOND
God has called us to walk in humility. The opposite of being humble is to be prideful. The root of many sins is pride. Think about it. When you’re jealous, angry, selfish and so on, you think you’re owed something you’re not. You think that you are the center of your universe. Our culture and our nature teach that to be humiliated is a negative thing, but all it shows is that your pride was hurt in some way. God calls the weak and humble because either His power can be more greatly displayed in weakness, or because they have a teachable, moldable, usable attitude and perspective. As Proverbs points out though, God will forcefully humble the proud. When you get time, look at how God humbled Pharaoh in Exodus; in the book of Judges, He humbled Samson when he thought he could do anything he wanted; He humbled the first king of Israel, Saul, when he thought he could disobey God in 1 Samuel; He punished the kingdom of Israel by having it conquered and dispersed at the end of 2 Kings; then He humbled Nebuchadnezzar in his arrogance in Daniel 4. Those are just a few examples of “stiff-necked people” that God humbled because they thought they were a “bigger deal” than they really were. Because there was no way we could ever save ourselves from hell and our sin, Jesus died so we wouldn’t have to go there. As believers, everything in us should be humbled because Jesus cleansed us when we couldn’t cleanse ourselves (1 John 1:9). That should instill in us an overwhelming sense of gratitude!

1. Why is humility such a hard attribute to display continually?
2. In what areas do you feel you are good? Sports? School? Jokes? Looks? Do you have any pride in those areas?
3. After reading, why do you feel like God desires you to be humble?

REMEMBER
Pray that God would show you any prideful areas in your life. Pray that He would break you and humiliate you in those areas.

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
—Proverbs 30:5