Skipping the School of Hard Knocks

Michael Beck

“In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. (Proverbs 10:13)

There are two ways to learn: the hard or the easy. The easy way is to have a sensitive heart to what God would say. When He checks our spirit, we don’t keep going, we stop. He keeps us from many a misstep. He preserves us from unnecessary trouble we would bring upon ourselves. Life is so much better when we walk carefully with God, letting Him rule our heart and tongue. “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” (1 Pet. 3:10)

And then there is the hard way.

“Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” (Prov. 13:15)

“A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.” (Prov. 26:3)

“A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.” (Prov. 17:10)

It is possible to live and NOT learn. And so we find ourselves permanently enrolled in the “school of hard knocks.” We can complain about people, and how they are too “thin-skinned,” or not merciful, but God uses the rod of men to correct us when we’re not listening to Him as well as we should be. “O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.” (Hab. 1:12)

Which will it be for us – the hard or the easy way? We do ourselves a great favor when we listen well to the still, small voice of God.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.