Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuses instruction: but he that regards reproof shall be honored.…
One of the weakest traits of any person is to be unwilling to accept honest criticism and correction. From the foolish child who will never listen to parental authority, on to the foolish man who will never listen to rebuke or reason, pride always goeth before a fall. Honest criticism is often a bitter dose to swallow, but most tonics are bitter, and we are the stronger for taking them down bravely. "If I am censured," said that godly man, Bishop Griswold, "then let me correct, but never justify, my faults." A minister with more zeal than discretion once called on the bishop and belaboured him with rather a harsh denunciation. Instead of showing the man out of the door, the bishop calmly replied, "My dear friend, I do not wonder that they who witness the inconsistencies in my daily conduct should think that I have no religion. I often fear this myself, and I feel very grateful to you for giving me this warning." This reply was made in such unaffected meekness and sincerity that the visitor at once begged the bishop's pardon, and always regarded him afterwards as one of the most Christlike Christians he had ever known. He is doubly the fool who not only flings himself into a pit, but resents the friendly hand that tries to help him out of it.
(T. G. Cuyler.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.