He had been teaching them some new skills, pushing them beyond where they had gone before. They were capable, but they had just never thought of doing it this way. Now, they seemed hungry for more instruction. Slowly and surely, they had seen themselves improve, had understood what the coach was teaching, and had become convinced that it was the right way of doing it.

Now they couldn’t get enough. And the coach praised them in front of everyone for their hard work and commitment. Win-win.

These players portray the truth found in Proverbs 13:18–“Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.”

On the field, this manifests itself when guys want to know how they’re doing, seek out instruction on how to get better, take initiative to work on their own, and realize they can always improve.

Of course, the verse includes the negative side…the guys who believe they’ve got all the knowledge and skill they need. Eventually, they pay the price as others pass them by.

Off the field, this verse is even more important. Those who reject discipline and instruction, who do what is right in their own eyes, never listening to anyone…they will meet a bitter end, in the next life if not in this one.

On the other hand, those who have a desire to become wiser than they are, to be shown the error of their ways, and to take instruction and correction with humility…they are the ones who can receive the truth of God’s word, his life-saving truth.

Lord Jesus, is there any part of me that won’t take instruction? Show me and help me to turn from it and follow you. Amen.