Please Support the Bible Translation Work of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
The One Heeding Reproof Is Honored
Proverbs 13:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
but he who heeds reproof is honored.
Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction: The Hebrew word (רֵישׁ resh or רֵאשׁ resh or רִישׁ rish) rendered poverty is the economic condition of one who lacks the basic financial and material necessities of life, who in all likelihood will have to beg to survive. Disgrace (קָלוֹן qalon) is speaking of one who has socially lost the respect of others, who is now in a state of dishonor. The Hebrew (מוּסָר musar) behind instruction can be rendered discipline, which is training or teachings of principles or accepted or known truths that enable one to improve oneself. (Ps 50:17; Prov. 1:8; 15:33; 23:12) This instruction can be a minor punishment that may come in the form of a correction or a rebuke, which, if ignored, can bring poverty and shame. (Prov. 3:11) This economic condition of poverty and social condition of disgrace (shame) is a direct result of ignoring, namely, willfully paying no attention, rejecting the instruction or teaching of the wisdom that comes from God’s Word.
but he who heeds reproof is honored: On the other hand, the one who heeds (שׁוֹמֵר Shomer or שֹׁמֵר Shomer) or regards reproof (תּוֹכַחַת tokachath), that is, accept rebukes, corrective counsel is one who is able to be observant, be careful, beware, pay attention make sure or certain, guard oneself, learn and recall things he has learned, which enable him to watch for danger.
We will become wise when we can accept or even request reproof; that is constructive criticism. Sound advice from a source of wisdom, be it one with more life experience or especially the Word of God, can be most helpful. The key word above is that corrective counsel must be heeded. It does no good to get a car if you do not drive it, to receive money or food if you do not use it, and more importantly, to receive wise counsel from the Word of God or one with more life experience and then not pay attention to it, not apply it. Why? Because such corrective counsel can save us many headaches and heartaches, anxiety, stress, and depression, not to mention it can help us avoid the tragedies Satan’s world throws at us. Neglecting this corrective counsel will bring us disgrace, shame, and dishonor as we live impoverished.
Yes, receiving praise and commendations from others is comforting, as it will undoubtedly lift us up emotionally and encourage us to make even more personal and spiritual progress in our lives. However, the actual path to success comes from reproof and rebukes, corrective counsel if we can humbly accept it. Ponder for a moment the two letters that the apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy. It must have felt very good to get commended for his faithfulness. However, the gold nuggets of those letters were the counsel that Timothy humbly heeded. Paul exhorted Timothy to hold on to his faith, retain his good conscience, and do so as he dealt justly with others in the Christian congregation. He further encouraged Timothy to develop godly devotion and to be self-sufficient, to wisely take the vast knowledge that he had received as Paul’s traveling companion for fifteen years and to instruct others as he has been instructed, and to resist the apostasy, as he carried out his ministry after Paul was gone. The young ones in the Christian congregation would be humble and wise if they not only expected but welcomed constructive counsel from the more experienced ones.