January 24 I Tuesday
“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.” —Hebrews 12:11
Proverbs is also known as the book of wisdom in the Bible, where attributes of wisdom are contrasted with folly. For example, Proverbs 10:23 says, “A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.” The character and behaviour of a fool may give us the impression that he is a lost cause, but Psalm 19:7 gives us hope as it tells us, “The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” The simple can become wise through the statutes of the Lord. In other words, the fool can become wise when he trusts in the Word of God. This explains the reason why Scripture exposes our folly, failure and sin, not so that it may rub our nose in the dirt and humiliate us, but so that in recognizing what we are, we may find a way out of it.
God Himself corrects our folly as Proverbs 3:11-12 says: “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.” When God disciplines us, it is not an expression of anger or rejection but an expression of love. God, our Father, does what good fathers do: He disciplines us for our good. The discipline of our heavenly Father is to make us wise, but we must respond in humility to His discipline.
Another way that God corrects folly is through other people, such as our family and friends. Proverbs 28:23 writes, “Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favour rather than one who has a flattering tongue.” Rebuke is never pleasant, but it is often necessary. The wise person listens to rebuke and those who rebuke us with wisdom and love are better friends to us than those who flatter us. That is why in friendship, we need to be strong enough to give a rebuke when it is necessary and humble enough to accept it too. In fact, Proverbs 27:6 tells us, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (NKJV). When a friend wounds us, trust those wounds; they are good and faithful wounds. Why? Because they are helping us. We all need friends and family who will not pussyfoot around us when we need correcting.
We can never be too old to respond to discipline, whether from our Heavenly Father through His Word, family or friends, but we could be too prideful to receive it. May our hearts be softened to receive correction, knowing it is not to humiliate us, but to make us wiser.
Prayer: Lord Heavenly Father, thank You for Your discipline and for placing people in my life to rebuke my fallen ways. Humble my heart to receive the necessary corrections in my life.