Because it’s important to me to keep this blog updated I’ve decided to try something new to help me stay on point. Sometimes I don’t write because I just don’t have the energy to think of something to write about. So the other week I was reading Proverbs 12 and it was like every single verse was piercing my heart, convicting me and in a thousand different areas of my life but each one so relevant and in time. So I thought, why don’t I just take a proverb, not a whole chapter but just one out of a chapter, and use it to unravel the “in time” happenings of my life and heart. Takes the pressure off of trying to think anything up. I still may muck it up anyway, but I’m giving it a shot!
So today’s proverb is:
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
First question that has to be asked is, who loves discipline? This is evidence of a regenerated heart. Normal people don’t love discipline. I mean, my son, 3 years old and with no guile in him, does not like discipline. Not one bit. He does not like getting his way and he does not like getting disciplined for disobeying when he doesn’t get his way. And this happens a lot.
I remember when I worked with YWAM in Australia I was working as an assistant to the director of our base. One day, I made a mistake and to cover up that mistake I lied about it. I was scared that he would be mad so I just lied out of self preservation and fear. I could have gotten away with this lie, he would have never found out about it. But it haunted me like a plague. I was consumed with guilt and deep conviction. So, I decided I was going to walk to work the next morning and the very first thing I was going to do was tell him the truth. I walked into his office, sat down, and spilled the beans. He was surprised, disappointed, but not angry. He asked me why I did it and then like a good father would explained the consequences of my actions. He told me I needed to confess and apologize to the other people that my little white lie had affected which I knew was right but of course the idea of having to come clean all over again to other people that I deeply respected and looked up to was horrifying to me. Before I left his office he opened his bible up to 1 Cor. 9:24.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize…”
And then in verse 26 it goes onto say,
“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
He said to me, “Anna, don’t get disqualified from the race. Run in such a way to win the prize.” And then he hugged me and I wept. I wept out of relief, out of gratitude that he didn’t condemn and neither did the Lord, out of sadness that I had disappointed both him and the Lord and others who were affected by my fib. But the strangest thing happened, I walked out of that office so proud. I felt free and I felt so glad that I had done it, I had told the truth. I was proud but I also had required an obvious “limp” from the pride of my flesh taking a heavy blow. But for the most part, I felt free, light and cared for and loved by my spiritual father who was my boss and also by my heavenly Father.
What is the point of this? The discipline that I received that day was painful but it felt so very good. It was like water washing the guilt of my sin away and making me clean and bright. I loved it. It was addicting.
I loved discipline. This is evidence of a regenerated heart.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge.
To love discipline is to love to know more. To love to know more is to love discipline. They go hand in hand.
I want to know more about life and godliness?
I want to know more about the purpose of life?
I want to search out the deep and immeasurable riches of Christ?
Then it is required that I also love the rod of His discipline. I must welcome it and give it complete access to my broken life.
Knowledge without discipline gives way to pride and arrogance which is like poison to our bodies. Knowledge with discipline forms us into the likeness of Christ.
“…but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No 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.”
It is stunning that the human heart could begin to love and crave discipline. It is miraculous. But it’s possible. And when we do love it, that’s a pretty good sign. It is evidence of Christ in us conforming us into His image. Hallelujah.
And if we want knowledge without discipline or correction from The Father…well, then we’re just plain stupid.
“Whoever hates correction is stupid.”
Love it. We all need a good stern kick in the pants every so often. Thanks, Solomon for using such poetic language to cut straight to the heart.
So in closing my exhortation is – don’t be stupid! Welcome the discipline of the Lord into your life! Be cleansed and washed by His rod! Be conformed into the likeness of Christ! And take heart, we know we are children of God if we are being disciplined. Did you just feel that twig branch whip against your spiritual bum? Rejoice, HE LOVES YOU!!!!!!!