Reading

  • Sharing and Responding to Wisdom
    • Advice and Rebuke - Prov. 3:1-2; 9:7-9; 10:8; 12:15; 13:1, 13; 15:31; 17:10; 19:16, 20, 25, 27; 23:9; 25:12; 27:5-6, 17; 29:1
    • Value of Advisers - Prov. 11:14; 15:22; 20:18; 24:5-6
    • Discipline - Prov. 3:11-12; 10:17; 12:1; 13:18, 24; 15:5, 10, 12, 32; 19:18; 20:30; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 29:15, 17, 19, 21
    • Lawkeeping - Prov. 28:4, 7, 9; 29:18
    • Repentance - Prov. 14:9; 28:13
  • Good and Evil
    • Righteousness and Wickedness - Prov. 10:6-7, 16, 28-30; 11:5-10, 18-20, 23; 12:2-3, 5-8, 12, 21, 28; 13:9, 21, 25; 14:11, 19, 34; 15:6, 9; 20:7; 21:18; 24:15-16; 28:12, 28; 29:2, 16, 27
    • Integrity and Perversion - Prov. 10:9; 13:6; 15:26; 21:8; 24:8-9; 28:18; 29:10
    • Appropriate Consequences - Prov. 3:33-35; 10:3, 22, 24-25; 11:21, 27, 30-31; 14:14, 22; 16:7; 17:13; 18:3; 19:29; 21:12, 16, 21; 22:8; 26:1, 3, 27

Devotional

Among the subjects discussed in today's reading is discipline. Biblical discipline is one of the most lacking and neglected attributes by parents of today's generation. I see so many believers who fail to follow the wisdom given from above regarding how to properly discipline their children. The word "discipline" is defined by dictionary.com as follows:

  1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
  2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
  3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.

Too often we only think of the third definition when we think of discipline—punishment. But biblical discipline encompasses all three definitions. GOD has given us some commands which we are to follow. These instructions are given for our good always, so that we can discipline ourselves into becoming like Him. This requires practice. Jesus came to show us how we are to live and our purpose is to conform to His image (Rom. 8:29). However, when we refuse to follow a command GOD has given, that's rebellion, and that's sinful. If we continue down this road, refusing to change, GOD will begin disciplining (punishing) us in order to bring us back to Him. He does this because He loves us and He wants what is best for us. If a person is living in sin then GOD cannot have fellowhip with them. He longs to share Himself with each of us so badly that He will go to great lengths to help us correct what we've done wrong. The ultimate display of GOD's willingness to help us is with Jesus dying for us on the cross.

GOD has designed human parenthood to follow this same pattern. Moms and Dads are given responsibility for teaching and raising their children into responsible adults. As the child transitions into adulthood, the earthly parents' role should decrease and GOD's spiritual Father role should increase in the child's life. I believe GOD uses parenting as a means to teach us about our personal relationship with Him, and to convey the various emotions He feels toward us as His child.

GOD does not enjoy inflicting pain upon us. That would be at odds with His loving nature. But His loving nature is so strong that He is willing to endure temporary discomfort watching us suffer for the purpose of bringing about the greater good—our eternal salvation. The same is expected of us as parents. We are to love our child so much that we are willing to watch them endure temporary discomfort for the purpose of teaching them life lessons and correcting misbehavior. The motivation should always be love.

GOD speaks a lot about discipline in the Proverbs. Here are a few of my favorite verses:

11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
(Prov. 3:11-12 NIV)

1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.
(Prov. 12:1)

24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
(Prov. 13:24 NIV)

6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
(Prov. 22:6 NKJV)

15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.
(Prov. 29:15 NIV)

The quicker we learn the lesson that GOD or our parents are trying to teach us, the less discipline we will have to go through, and the less painful it will be on us. Be blessed and accept discipline.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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