As we move into the Proverbs, the author first asks us to accept his rebuke. We have to admit that we have a need of knowledge before we can gain from it. If we have no failings we can own, we will not benefit from his words.
Proverbs 1:23: “Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.”
Failings Start With a Rebuke
Note that the author starts with a focus on a rebuke. That means that the reader must suffer at least the minor sting of being corrected. This is not a malignant effort to hurt the reader, just a fact of mistakes. We do not like to admit to our mistakes and failings. However, owning them is the first step to true knowledge and wisdom. We must either see our mistake or allow it to be shown us by others. If we do not, how will we even recognize a mistake?
The Big Pay-Off
The important part of this proverb is the follow up to repenting. Once our failings are admitted, the author will pour our his thoughts. This is not a tit for tat promise. It is a promise of large rewards for a simple step. The return we get from accepting rebuke is not a single teaching, but a pouring out. I think this goes beyond simply the proverbs and points to general wisdom. Once we can get past our failings and accept rebuke, we can start to erase future mistakes through a fountain of knowledge.
A Focus on the Future
When we rebuke our children this is an excellent approach to take. Rather than dwell on a mistake, we can point to future success. Our goal is to raise strong and successful children. Thus, we do not expect them to start out that way. We need to remember this as we correct them. Then, they will be more likely to listen and grow rather than look for excuses to avoid our wrath.