A discerning son heeds instruction,
but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father. (Proverbs 28:7)
– As with much of Proverbs, the imagery is of sons and father, children and parents
– “Instruction” is also translated “understanding” and “wisdom” (the theme of Proverbs as a whole)
– Is this a contrast between two hungers: a hunger for knowledge/wisdom/understanding vs. a hunger for physical things like food, drink, sex, etc.?
– Instruction is tied up with relationship always…
We all have appetites – for food, for sex, for sleep. We also hunger after affection and love, acceptance, recognition. Proverbs makes much of where are appetites are focused. We will be satisfied with what we crave… but how satisfied and for how long?
Wisdom is only of value to those who want it. Understanding is only satisfying to those who hunger after it.
I don’t like being corrected or told I am wrong. But I know that to grow I need to know what I don’t know, to know where I have not measured up. Nowhere is this more true than in faith! God’s Spirit, sent to be our great teacher, is constantly whispering wisdom and instruction in my ear and in my heart. Only if I am discerning will I gain discernment. Only if I want to know will I learn of God.
O God, we live in a culture that values being open-minded. May my mind today be open to you, to your voice, to your instruction. Make me a more discerning of your truth and more responsive to your instruction. May I be more a child in whom you delight today than one who disgraces you, my Heavenly Father. Amen.