“A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.”
Wise people listen to feedback. When confronted with a rebuke, they listen and reflect. This contrasts with the hard-hearted fools, who resist and reject feedback. Indeed, fools are so hard-hearted that even a hundred blows can’t break through and get them to listen and change.
Earlier, Proverbs 13 spoke to scoffer’s who stubbornly reject feedback. “A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” (Proverbs 13.1)
A scoffer is someone who resists correction. The act of scoffing or “mocking” is a way of attacking those who offer wise and helpful advice. The scoffer refuses to admit wrongdoing and cannot tolerate a rebuke that points out mistakes. As a result, the scoffer cannot and will not improve behavior.
Also, scoffing is often an act of insecurity. Scoffers criticize and mock those who are actually doing the work and solving problems, though the scoffer himself is afraid of doing the work.
At Focus 3, we teach a simple and powerful discipline: No BCD. Don’t blame, complain, or defend. In other words, no scoffing. We have been teaching no BCD for many years now, and it has gained a large following. People and organizations have rallied to the call. It is has become an anthem for teams and a daily motto for thousands of people around the world. It gains traction and momentum every day. People intuitively know that BCD is counterproductive.
The bottom line is that BCD doesn’t work. It is lazy, and it takes virtually no effort or skill. Worse, it is cowardly. BCD does not achieve goals, it doesn’t solve problems, and it doesn’t improve relationships.
- Blaming indicates you are irresponsible and untrustworthy.
- Complaining makes you inefficient and unenjoyable.
- Defensiveness reveals your ego and your weakness.
The “no BCD” rule does not mean ignoring problems; it means solving them. Wise people understand there will always be problems in a fallen world, and they invest their time and energy in finding solutions.
As Proverbs 17.10 says, the fool is stubborn, and doesn’t listen to feedback, even after receiving a hundred blows. The wise person, on the other hand, takes feedback to heart. They don’t engage in BCD. Instead, they seek to solve problems. They listen to feedback and instruction. They want constructive criticism. They want to be coached. They want to get better.
Trust God, listen to feedback, and do the work.