Proverb for the Day 15:5 — Street Smart…To Be or Not To Be!

A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

There are different words translated “fool” in the Bible, including the New Testament Greek word moros which also came right into English as “moron!” Jesus called some people “morons (see Matthew 6:26)!”

Our word “fool” is one who just doesn’t know, understand or realize. “Naive” might be a good translation, but I’ll suggest an East Baltimore concept — they just lack “Street Smarts.” 

Such a person, who doesn’t see the big picture, “spurns a parent’s discipline.” While this could be grown adults, it probably suggests someone younger with a lot to learn about life.

The “discipline” here is often translated “instruction” because it’s all about learning and growing. While there can be a punitive aspect to “discipline” it’s not for the purpose of hurting another or getting even — but to make them better.

It’s not a focus on the negative, but the positive. In fact, our modern English words “discipline” and “disciple” come from the same Latin root.

Thus “discipline” shouldn’t be viewed as punishment, but as education. Here in Baltimore it’s illustrated by the phrase “the Ravens’ Way!”

That means — to play on this football team, one must be committed to the discipline of the Baltimore Ravens philosophy and training regimen.

In contrast to this “fool” is one who “heeds correction.” Like in English, it’s a different word with a related meaning. This “correction” involves confrontation, even a legal case.

So “whoever heeds correction” is someone who accepts the value that can come from being confronted by others. Such a one “shows prudence.”

While clearly a good thing in this verse, “prudence” is often translated “crafty” or “shrewd” — not generally considered a good thing. So, again from East Baltimore, I’ll suggest one who “shows prudence” is one who has “Street Smarts!”