My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves as a father the son he delights in. – (Proverbs 3:11-12, NIV)
My son, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be angry when He corrects you. The Lord corrects the one He loves, just as a father corrects a child he cares about. – (Proverbs 3:11-12, ERV)
The word discipline has always held a strange duality in my world. On one hand, it held this connotation of being in trouble, and that is a very negative association for a people-pleaser; yet on the other hand, as an athlete, discipline has simply meant adhering to the training and teaching prescribed by coaches who knew far more about my sports than I did. In athletics, I never had a problem with a coach correcting me, as I knew it was for my benefit as an athlete, and would make me stronger, faster, or more efficient (depending on which sport they were coaching).
As I unpack the word this morning, discipline in this portion of Proverbs has the same connotation as my second example. Discipline here, actually means to teach and to train. God wants to teach us and train us in His ways, and He loves us enough to correct and redirect us when we go astray from the path on which He has placed us. His Holy Spirit will whisper to our heart when we have said or done something that we ought not have done. That unsettling feeling of regret or remorse is actually our invitation to repentance. The Lord is so kind and gentle. He patiently and lovingly waits for us to turn our eyes back to Him, and set our sights on that which matters most – who He is, and who He is calling us to become. May we embrace the Lord’s discipline as His sons and daughters, understanding that it is because He delights in us, that He disciples us in love.
The Lord loves to teach,
and train those He loves;
He shows us the way,
to change, overcome.
Just as a parent,
shows a child the way;
to live life upright,
for all of their days.
Embrace the correction,
for He teaches those;
whom He calls His own.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your discipline is part of discipling, and You are teaching and training us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Thank You that love alone is Your motivation. Forgive us for rejecting correction, or for being slow to respond. Help us to quickly recognize Your voice, correction and direction in our lives, so that we can walk ever closer with You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may embrace all of Your discipling, even when it involves rebuke or redirecting from where we thought we were meant to go. Lead us to love others with the same generosity that You pour out upon us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the teaching and training that You extend to each of us, individually. Amen.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3