As Dumb as a Cow
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
No one wants to be known as being dumb. Foolish. Or especially stupid. However, some of us are living as if we really are dumb. The following are unpleasant statements: “You are as dumb as a donkey!” or “You are as stupid as a dog.”
What about being as dumb as a cow? That is what this proverb is speaking about. While loving instruction and knowledge will bring about the wisdom of God for daily living; he that hates reproof is as dumb as a cow.
The Hebrew term for “brutish” is a term associated with “cattle brutishness; stupid: brutish, foolish.” “Brutish” according to Merriam Webster is “Resembling, befitting, or typical of a brute or beast.”
Our extended family have farms and I frequented my grandparents farm while growing up. The cows down on the farm are good at several things: They can walk. They can lay down. They can find water in the creek or pond. They can identify grass. They can eat grass. They can follow the hay wagon with the dried grass in it. They can sleep standing up. They can even make “cow patties.” It is cool how a cow can swat at flies with its tail! They can do these things every day for their entire life. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I mostly like it when the cow becomes a cheeseburger, but that is something they are not capable of by themselves!
The point is – an animal – a cow is not that smart. They are creatures of habit with limited ability. God made them that way and that is OK. They have simple minds that focus on the most basic things of life. They are fulfilling their role in the pattern of life that God established.
The problem is that when human beings act like cows, we are demeaning our humanity, defacing our image of the Lord, and dishonoring the God Who made us. We act as dumb as cows when we refuse instruction. God expects so much more from the pinnacle of His creation – you and I.
The word “reproof” is used here. Reproof is a form of chastisement or correction. For example, when we correct our children of wrong thinking or wrong actions, we are helping them develop thinking and actions that reflect godliness, instead of reflecting cows!
Ask yourself several questions:
- Have I learned all that God wants me to learn?
- Do I have room to grow?
- Do I get angry when someone points out how I can do or be better?
- How will I grow and develop in Bible wisdom?
Just saying “I want to grow” is good, but you need more specifics in your path to growing. Reading 3-5 chapters of the Bible, setting aside time to pray, determining to not only attend, but participate in the services of your church. (We have 4 growth opportunities each week: Sunday School, Sunday Morning Worship, Sunday Evening Praise, and Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study.)
When people talk to you about things to “do better” or challenge you to “Grow” in an area, do not take offense to that – learn, embrace, and become more like Jesus. Don’t be a cow.