My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: (12) For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.Proverbs 3:11-12
What an incredible analogy is presented to us in these verses! God’s response in our lives is likened to a father with a son. What does a loving father do with the toddler that keeps running toward traffic in the street? The father corrects his son. He makes sure that the pain of correction and chastening helps to curtail the behavior that would lead to more permanent and difficult pain. The father that does not correct or discipline is dealing cruelly with their child.
Understanding this truth, Solomon says to his son not to despise the chastening of the Lord. The discipline that God brings is indicative of His love. The discipline is also indicative of our relationship to him as sons.
What does discipline look like?
When we discipline our kids we allow or cause difficult circumstances in order to help them to learn and to grow. When a criminal commits a crime and is sentenced they are punished. They have a debt that must be paid back. We discipline our kids and we punish criminality.
God allows circumstances and moves in our life to help us to learn and grow. When He does this we are being chastened and corrected.
What should we remember about our pain when we are disciplined?
Remember the point. When we endure pain from the discipline of God, we must remember the pain that is possible out there that would be so much worse. The pain is allowed or inflicted for the purpose of making our life worse. It is to make our life better.
Remember the product. In the book of Hebrews we learn that there is a fruit to the chastening hand of the Lord. Notice what the fruit in verse 11 below:
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.Hebrews 12:11
Remember the person. The discipline we receive from God should remind us of the relationship that we have to God Himself. Hebrews says it this way:
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (10) For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.Heb 12:7-10
- How has God taught you through difficulty and discipline in the past? What did you learn?
- Is God disciplining you right now? What is He teaching you?