“A wise person will learn more from a warning than a fool will learn from a hundred lashings” (Proverbs 17:10, NCV).
The book of Proverbs is an incredible book that instructs the reader to seek wisdom. With simple truths that bring amazing clarity, it it has the potential to develop godly character. There are many comparisons between a wise person and a fool, but in Proverbs 17:10 there is a one that makes me stop and take deeper notice.
“A wise person will learn more from a warning than a fool will learn from a hundred lashings” (Proverbs 17:10, NCV). I would rather be someone who can be instructed with one warning that be someone who is so foolish a hundred beatings will make no difference. A fool can't be taught. Wisdom imparts a teachable spirit, and one that responds well to instruction. When God disciplines my life, I want to realize it quickly without punishment needing to be repeated. If I have wisdom, I can discern when I am being disciplined, and then apply it quickly in my life.
“If any of you needs wisdom,” James writes, “you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you” (James 1:5, NCV). When I seek wisdom, God gives it generously, and will not criticize me. The fool with a hundred lashes regards his punishment as criticism because he has no wisdom. He sees it as undeserved. The wise person receives instruction with one warning. He sees his warning as training in character. Criticism or instruction? Foolishness or wisdom? It is my choice.