Proverbs 15:32

ESV Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
NIV Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
NASB One who neglects discipline rejects himself, But one who listens to a rebuke acquires understanding.
CSB Anyone who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever listens to correction acquires good sense.
NLT If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
KJV He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

What does Proverbs 15:32 mean?

The Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew, and under an ancient culture. Concepts such as "love" and "hate," as expressed in English, are not necessarily contained in single words. In this context, "despising" something is not about an emotion. It means to prefer something else, or to go against that thing's best interests. Solomon indicates that to ignore the wise teachings of an instructor is to "hate" yourself. The arrogant person who dismisses good advice may think he is superior to the instructor, but actually he is insulting and harming himself. This is like a very sick man who tosses aside the only medicine that can make him well, because he thinks he knows more than the doctor.

Whereas to refuse instruction is to deprive oneself of intelligence, to accept it is to gain intelligence. That often involves "reproof," which means being corrected (Proverbs 15:31). This is not always pleasant, but it is a necessary part of learning.

Near the close of his earthly life Jesus wept over Jerusalem because it refused to receive him as its Messiah. He said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37). Jerusalem had been unwilling to accept the instruction the Lord had sent; therefore, it suffered dire consequences. Everyone who accepts the instruction furnished by the gospel gains a personal knowledge of God and the ability to understand spiritual truth. In 1 Corinthians 2:12 Paul writes: "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God."
What is the Gospel?
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