Read: Proverbs 3
Consider: Proverbs 3 is one of those chapters in the Bible that contain several striking verses that challenge our thinking. In reading through the chapter, the verses that stand out to me are:
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity (3:1-2).
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (3:5-6).
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act (3:27).
The verses quoted at the start of this post are repeated by the writer of Hebrews (12:5-6) as:
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’
Interestingly the Greek word translated as discipline carries with it meanings of tutorage, education and training (by disciplinary correction). Have you ever noticed that the words ‘discipline’ and ‘discipling’ differ only in their final letter. This got me thinking about Jesus and his disciples. While we tend to think of a disciple as a follower, it means someone who is a learner. Jesus was teaching his disciples throughout his ministry.
Let’s be honest, discipline can be painful. Spiritual discipline can be particularly painful because it gets to the heart of what God points out as needing attention in our lives. It is important to realise that God disciplines us out of love. He wants us to become disciples, learning from him. So remember that while God is discipling you, you will be subject to his discipline.
Pray: Father, we thank you that your love for us is expressed in wanting us to be Christlike. May we willingly submit to your discipline in all aspects of our lives. Amen