ACCEPTING DISCIPLINE
August 12, 2020, 7:00 PM

 

ACCEPTING DISCIPLINE

PROVERBS 29 (NLT)

 

INTRODUCTION

The whole concept of accepting discipline is not a typical human priority or trait. When pondering the concept of discipline, most will focus their attention on the negative component of this necessary virtue. To give us a better understanding of the theme of this passage we must understand all the components of discipline and how discipline can bring out the best from our core.

 

The Hebrew word for discipline is yāsar, ‏(pronounced yaw-sar). In the context of this passage, the word discipline is an action verb. Therefore, discipline may be executed in various ways. One can be disciplined when they are corrected (or chastened) for doing something wrong. While others are disciplined through instruction. These two elements of discipline can at times coincide with one another.

 

Now that we have defined the elements of discipline it is time to apply the definitions to this passage.

1 Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

Notice the one component of a person who will not accept correction or instruction, they are stubborn! The conclusion to the life of an undisciplined person is annihilation.

Since undisciplined folks, don't possess the ability to build value to their life-long efforts they also have no legacy of value that will be remembered. Therefore, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” will apply to stubborn people. Think about it, what contributions do undisciplined folks make to the enhancement of the world around them? This truth is affirmed in verse two.

2 When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.

Notice the correlation between a godly person and that of a disciplined person; they are one and the same. There is no such thing as a godly undisciplined person. This strange dichotomy would be an oxymoronic contradiction!

Also, a disciplined person makes a positive impact and builds a lasting legacy of goodness. It goes without saying what is left in the wake of an unprincipled undisciplined person.

3 The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted.

Another attribute of a disciplined person is how they appreciate and embrace the correction and instruction offered to them by those who care about their welfare. Here we discover the main purpose of parents; parents discipline their children to ensure their offspring will continue to add value to their family's name, and their godly legacy.

Verses 4-11 gives us great insight into the traits of a godly disciplined person and the traits of one who lives a stubborn undisciplined life.

A person who is guided and driven by discipline is stable in all the ways they interact with and treat those under their influence and control.

While the undisciplined are always trying to scheme and scam others to get the advantage; the disciplined person will be methodical and systematic in the way they plot and plan to achieve the best results, and they will be victorious in the end.

VS.4-6 A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it. 5 To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet. 6 Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.

Another godly attribute we discover about a disciplined person is they care about those who have no voice and limited resources. Also, we discover other traits of a caregiver is that of a peacemaker and that of a helper to those who have been falsely accused. We also observe that a godly disciplined person will be quick to hear and slow to speak!

VS.7-11 The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all. 8 Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger. 9 If a wise person takes a fool to court, there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction. 10 The bloodthirsty hate blameless people, but the upright seek to help them. 11 Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.

It is assumed that every “normal” parent wants their offspring to make wise decisions. They also see the family name and legacy as something of value to be passed down to their children with the expectation their offspring will uphold and carry on the family’s name and values with pride.

These expectations, for children to carry on their family’s heritage, come with an important component; discipline! Parents have to spend their childrearing days correcting snd instructing their children if they want them to understand the value of their family’s name and carry on its legacy for future generations to remember, embrace, and appreciate. Parents of disciplined children can live with joy and peace knowing they have secured their family’s name and legacy in the good hands of their offspring.

VS.15-18 To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child. 16 When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes, but the godly will live to see their downfall. 17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad. 18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.

For those undisciplined parents who think they can reason with their children in place of discipline will experience the shame derived from their offspring running wild with no boundaries.

Earlier, I mentioned the two components of discipline include correction and instruction. It’s never enough to just instruct children, children tend to ignore the instruction given to them; thus, they need their parents to correct this behavior by some form of discipline and then affirm this action with a followup teaching moment. Thus, they have thoroughly disciplined their child.

It is important to remember the purpose of discipline; discipline is a teaching tool, not a tool to exact revenge or soothe a parent’s anger! When parents misuse discipline, they abuse their children and render the reverse effects; and in many cases, they redefine discipline’s purpose in the core of their offspring. This is a travesty and a gross injustice on the parent’s part.

V.19 Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded. 20 There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.

Many parents are long passed their childrearing days and are now experiencing either the joys of watching their offspring carry on their family name and values; or, they are shackled with the shame derived from their children’s out of control undisciplined lives. Doing nothing, in the area of disciplining ourselves and our offspring, is the easiest path to take; however, the short and longterm consequences are devastating!

On a personal note, it is never too late to start disciplining oneself, or one's offspring. We cannot reclaim the time already spent, but we can shape a better future by resisting the urge to be stubborn, and embrace the correction and instruction given to us by our loving God and Lord.

Notice this truth from PROVERBS 3:11-12 (NLT) My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. 12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

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