Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Proverbs: Discipline - June 17, 2010

Proverbs 13:1,13,18,24 (New Living Translation)
1 A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline; a mocker refuses to listen to correction.
13 People who despise advice are asking for trouble; those who respect a command will succeed.
18 If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.
24 Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Proverbs 19:18(New Living Translation)
18 Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.
Proverbs 29:15,17 (New Living Translation)
15 To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.
17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.

Hebrews 12:7-11 (New Living Translation)
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

The hardest thing for any of us is to receive discipline. No one likes it and no one appreciates it when it is happening. We have long heard the old adage, "spare the rod an spoil the child". That comes straight out of the 13th chapter of Proverbs, and God wants us to know that we are showing love to those we discipline. Our children may not agree with that, but every child will eventually agree with our own experience, that proper boundaries and discipline that is administered by parents is essential to the proper development of our character.

The New Testament takes the example of discipline one step further. It likens the trials and corrections we receive as Christians, as divine and spiritual discipline we receive from a God who loves us. The comments here are actually praising the discipline of a godly parent as a sign that a child is a true son or daughter of that parent. Good parents lovingly correct and discipline their children because they care about them. In turn our heavenly Father is cares about us, and He lovingly disciplines us along the way, so that we become sons and daughters of the King.

It is truly our "Next Worth" that God is concerned with, and He will guide, correct and discipline us, molding us into what He desires for us for eternity.

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