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11My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”

– Proverbs 3:11-12

“Wait until your dad gets home!” I heard those words more than one time during my childhood – and I can tell you, it was always deserved and it was never a good thing. That phrase was only uttered when I had screwed up so big that my mom needed to wait for reinforcements before she handled the situation. Those were extreme cases, but even in the lighter circumstances, I didn’t appreciate being disciplined as a kid. In fact, I’ve never met someone who enjoyed discipline. However, I’ve also never encountered a person who didn’t enjoy the benefits of discipline. That’s the quandary of correction – we hate it in the moment, but we love the fruit of what it produces.

Solomon, the author of Proverbs, understands the tension of disliking discipline, but needing it. That’s why in Proverbs 3:11, he wrote to his son, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof.” Solomon deduces that not only was discipline necessary, but that our posture towards discipline is essential for reaping its benefits and growing as people. To that end, he encourages his son to long for discipline and to last in it. He addressed the two tendencies we have towards discipline – they either resist it altogether, or they withdrawal before it’s finished its work. Embracing the Lord’s discipline is a choice every person must make. It’s a posture we must choose to take. If we believe that we’re a work in progress, unfinished masterpieces of the Divine (Ephesians 2:10), then we must choose to embrace his correction and discipline trusting it’s for our good and growth.

Even if we long for discipline and decide to last in it, it can be hard to identify God’s discipline. In the book of Hebrews, the author suggests God uses affliction to discipline his people (Hebrews 12:4-7). He uses both internal affliction (conviction of sin) and external affliction (evil in the world). The author of Hebrews doesn’t suggest that God causes these afflictions, but rather that he uses all of life’s circumstances to shape us into the people he invites us to become. When affliction strikes, we typically ask, “Why is this happening to me?” But, that’s the wrong question. The right question is, “How is God growing me and what is he teaching me?” When we walk with God, all of life becomes his laboratory and every situation is one to learn from. Take some time today and identify a hardship in your life. How might God be using it to refine your character? How is God disciplining you? What invitation for growth is in front of you through that affliction?[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text 0=””]

By Ryan Paulson  

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