Proverbs 12:1-2

1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,

   but whoever hates correction is stupid.

2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord,

   but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.


 There are those whose main concern is looking good, and there are others who focus instead on being good. How does one distinguish between them? Watch how they respond to discipline, instruction and correction.

 The one who wants to be good, always looking to improve, responds to discipline by making adjustments. She is not overly sensitive to criticism, because she sees it as an opportunity to grow. She asks for advice readily, because she knows others can help her to reach her goals faster than she could on her own.

 The one who cares only about looking good, however, hates to be corrected. She may work hard (looking good is not easy), but she doesn’t grow much. This is because she doesn’t ask for help, especially from those she is trying to impress. She is much more likely to deceive, pretending to be something she’s not, to maintain her appearance of success. She is always at risk of being exposed. 

“Good people obtain favor from the Lord, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.” The focus here is on behavior, not on appearances. How do the good obtain favor? By doing the right thing, even when difficult. Many wicked schemes have been justified in the minds of those who devised them, because they convinced themselves there was no other way. Even those who get away with it must live with the fear of being found out.  A life lived in hiding is condemnation in itself. Are you tempted to bend the rules, to deceive someone, to do something you know you might regret? Be honest with yourself, there is more at stake than the thing you are after. 

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