I love it when the Bible smacks you right in the face and leaves you bewildered. It's like a fresh beating. You know it hurt, but somehow feels good to realize that you are human and brings you back to reality. Now for the punch in the face:
"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid."
Alright, maybe I should explain the background of Proverbs for a second to make this a little more understandable. In the first couple of chapters we understand that the book of Proverbs is a book of wise sayings that were used by the wisest king of all time, Solomon. These proverbs are wise sayings and as we can see multiple times in the first couple of chapters, wisdom comes from God (or rather, godly wisdom comes from God... isn't that kind of expected? Duh...). We also learn that the people that Solomon is talking to are his own sons. See, back in history, fathers of families took their sons to teach them about life (strange thing to us, I know...) and the fathers were careful in the things that they taught their sons. If you were a Jew, you better teach your sons about Yahweh and what He has done for the nation of Israel and teach them His commandments. Solomon pretty much takes the commandments and puts flesh on them with a lot of his proverbs. So, this is what most of Proverbs is all about. In this particular passage, Solomon is explaining the difference between the righteous and the wicked by comparing and contrasting them. He does this for several chapters.
This verse has so much implication, but what I want to focus on is the last part of the verse... the one who hates reproof is stupid. Amazing! Reproof is showing someone when they are wrong, whether in their knowledge or in their actions. No one is perfect and absolutely no one has perfect knowledge. Therefore, the person that despises being told they are wrong and will not listen to others that actually know better is stupid. That's right, I said it because God said it through Solomon. You are stupid if you don't listen to someone's instruction when they know you are wrong in what you either believe or wrong in your actions. This is so politically incorrect and I could get many "hate comments" on this post, but I can't escape the truth of this proverb. I don't exclude myself from this label either. There have been many times that I thought I was right in what I was doing and didn't listen to another person's instruction (or better yet, God's instruction). So, God effectively just deemed me stupid (at least in times past when I didn't listen to wisdom). Beautiful....