Proverbs 15:31

ESV The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.
NIV Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.
NASB One whose ear listens to a life-giving rebuke Will stay among the wise.
CSB One who listens to life-giving rebukes will be at home among the wise.
NLT If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
KJV The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

What does Proverbs 15:31 mean?

To be considered wise, a person needs to listen to good advice. That means godly advice, including correction (Proverbs 1:7; 3:11). Correction which comes from godly wisdom is life-giving (Proverbs 10:17; 13:14). Being reproved isn't pleasant, but it is essential to a righteous life.

Paul commands Timothy to preach the word and to "reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2). Of course, appropriate reproof and rebuke must be based on Scripture. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16 that God breathed out all Scripture and that it is "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." A person gains wisdom by examining his life in the light of Scripture, then correcting his life, to the standard set by the Word of God.

It is the responsibility of mature believers to seek to guide an erring person back into with God's will (2 Timothy 2:25). This task mainly involves fellow believers, where reproof has the goal of restoration. Galatians 6:1 reads: "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted." In a very real sense, this applies regardless of the relative spiritual maturity of either side; even an immature believer can notice and "reprove" something about which a more mature person is in error.
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