Discipline

March 31, 2017

Proverbs 12:1

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, 

but he who hates correction is stupid. 

Discipline

Discipline is not something we often fondly embrace or seek out.  It carries with it the idea of being corrected and doing things we may not particularly like to do.  Thus, discipline often doesn’t carry a real positive image in our minds.  We may even think back to our youth and the punishment and correction we received as children.  The other side of discipline is knowledge, because discipline corrects us out of wrong thinking, wrong motives and wrong action.  In terms of our spiritual walk, a disciple of Christ is a disciplined one; they are ones who learn at the feet of the master through discipline, correction and even chastening.

It is interesting how discipline and knowledge are tied together here in Proverbs 12.  What good is it to know something without the application of the knowledge?  True knowledge is not the mental assent of an idea; it is the induction of its principles into one’s lifestyle and actions.  That is where the discipline comes in.  Discipline is a correction that comes through knowledge.  If we rebel and refuse the correction, the rebuke and the instruction that comes through knowledge, then the Word says we are essentially stupid, not because we can’t understand, but because we refuse to receive knowledge.  God’s knowledge and discipline go hand in hand.

If we want God to teach us His ways and His precepts, then the first thing we must be willing to do is receive discipline.  Only in submission to that discipline through obedience can we be conformed to the knowledge and the instruction of the Lord.  Only then does His laws become written into our hearts and not just comprehended in our brain.  True knowledge is received with the discipline to walk in it and receive the correction when we err from it.  From that type of knowledge do we gain true wisdom and understanding. 

Proverbs 1 starts out telling us the intent and the purpose of the proverbs.  Verses 2 through 7 tell us essentially what this scripture tells us in 12: 1. The purpose of the proverbs is “for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, 

doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young- 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance- 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”  We know, and I think would pretty much agree, that the Word of God is our instruction manual that leads us, teaches us and directs us in the path of true spiritual life.  God says it is the fool and the person who shows stupidity if they reject and refuse to embrace these words of life and the discipline that comes with its instruction. 

Discipline often involves chastening which none of us look forward too but Hebrews 12: 4-12 tells us why it is a necessary part of our spiritual walk and journey.  “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13″Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”  It is important that we know that with the knowledge of the Lord comes discipline and the discipline comes so that God’s knowledge might be worked into right behavior and character.  It is His character being worked in us.  When you seek to get knowledge also be willing to embrace the discipline that must go with it. 

Blessings,

#kent

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