The Art Of Receiving Instruction

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There is something in all of us that makes us resist taking instruction. It’s called pride and the Bible warns us about falling into the trap.

Proverbs 15:32 (ESV) — 32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

Proverbs 13:18 (ESV) — 18 Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.

When is the last time you heard a proven way of doing things but decided to try it on your own and blow off the advice you just heard? When is the last time you tuned out what you were hearing while thinking, I don’t need to do that, I can just…

That’s what people do in regard to clear instruction in the Scripture and that makes it clear that they are satisfied with living in darkness rather than light.

John 3:17–19 (ESV) — 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

Do you love instruction? When you get instruction, do you actually receive it and more importantly do you act upon it?

Several years ago, I was ministering in Brazil and my friend who was driving us to each appointment set out on a 15-hour trip without specific directions to the destination within the city to which we were going. However, when we arrived in the city where I was to preach he asked directions and unbelievably he got us to the exact location and on time. All it took was being humble enough to ask for instruction, then respond by acting upon those instructions.

How diligent are you when it comes to acting upon instruction? Do you follow it, or do you put it aside and try to come up with your own way? That’s the way of pride and it’s sure to fail.

Proverbs 11:2 (ESV) — 2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 29:23 (ESV) — 23 One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

How about when it comes to God’s Word? Are you willing to take the instruction? It’s filled with instruction, as you know.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 (ESV) — 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Whether we read and study the Word of God, or we sit under the preaching or teaching of God’s Word, we are to understand this is God’s instruction and we are to take it and act upon it.

2 Timothy 4:1–4 (ESV) — 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

James 1:19–25 (ESV) — 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

May you be a wise person this week by taking instruction when it is presented, by pushing away your pride and receiving what is said, and by acting upon it without procrastination. It’s the way to have a great week.


Bob Brubaker

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