Welcome to Proverbs 365! This blogging project is my attempt to read one chapter of Proverbs daily and then share a piece of wisdom or lesson learned from within that daily chapter. Proverbs are God’s version of daily Best Practices: they help us through good times and bad. When life becomes stressful, Proverbs are there to help us make better choices. Feel free to join me in Proverbs 365–either on your blog or by leaving your daily Proverbs lesson in the comments below!
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.[b]
Discipline is NOT fun. It isn’t fun to be on the receiving end. It isn’t any more fun to be on the giving end either. As a parent I know I have to discipline my kids, even when I really don’t want to. It is what will shape them and form them into productive, polite adults.
No one likes being corrected. No one. We prefer to walk through life with others believing we do no wrong. But correction happens. We all mess up. We’ve all got our ‘stuff.’ What kind of loving father would God be if he didn’t discipline us?
There are two false images of God out there, held in common ‘wisdom.’ (we discussed how wise common wisdom is yesterday.) The first holds that God is the all-disapproving God, sitting high and mighty up in the clouds, looking down on all of us in anger, looking for an excuse–any excuse–to punish us. That isn’t God. The second image has God as this benevolent, loving father; kind of old and doddering; laughing at all of our foibles and happy if we are happy–even if that ‘happiness’ will hurt us in the end. That isn’t God either.
God loves us. He cares for us, and he delights in us. He delights in me. He delights in you. (Yes, YOU.) he does not sit up in heaven looking for reasons to punish you or me. He doesn’t sit there, thinking of a list of all the ways you’ve screwed up lately. That just isn’t God. Yet God is a good father, so he does discipline us. Sometimes he sees us headed down a bad road and will throw road blocks in our way. He makes it much harder for us to go that way. I’ve known many people who are sure they’re headed down the path of happiness, so it must be the ‘enemy’ trying to stand in the way of God’s plan for their lives. No matter how destructive their choices are, they refuse to accept God’s hand or rebuke. They forge ahead, sure that they are ‘right.’
God also let’s us experience the consequences of our actions. If those same people forged ahead even after God placed warning signs up, then yes, a good parent would let them experience the consequences. Doesn’t mean he won’t be there with a hug, mercy and love when they ask for forgiveness–but he won’t spare them the lessons they so badly need.
It isn’t fun when God sends correction. I’ve been there, done that. We all screw up, more often than we like to admit. We all make poor choices sometimes. But the good thing is is that God is loving as well–so I will find love And forgiveness almost the second that my heart bends to the correction. After awhile, it makes it a lot easier to admit your mistakes if you know love and forgiveness are waiting for you!