A wise correction to a receptive ear
is like a gold ring or an ornament of gold.
Have you ever had your ears pierced? I haven't but I have seen it done. It stings in the moment, but in the long run your appearance is adorned by a beautiful earring. This proverb tells us that the same is true of wise correction. It stings in the moment but, when heeded, wise correction can make your life and character more beautiful in the long run.
Listen, no one likes being corrected. It's hard to be confronted with your shortcomings even when it's a loved one speaking to you. It feels even worse when the correction comes from your boss or someone you dislike. But you would do well to listen to correction anyhow. You don't have to accept every criticism that comes your way, but you should do your best to objectively consider them all. Correction is always going to sting. That'll be true either way. Whether you accept it or rage against it, hearing correction is going to hurt your feelings. But if you're willing to listen to the correction and consider if there is any wise counsel in it for you, then that stinging just may be put to good use. If heeded it can make you a better, more beautiful person.
So the next time you are corrected, reprimanded, criticized, or the next time someone offers to help you by giving their unsolicited opinion- ignore the sting. Love yourself enough to stop and listen and see if there is any wisdom in what they are telling you. If not, merely disregard their opinion. But if it rings true, then allow yourself to be corrected and to be made better by it.
Still not convinced? Here are some other proverbs that make the same point.
- The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)
- The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. (Proverbs 15:31-32)
- Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. (Proverbs 19:20)