Discipline

Proverbs 19:18–29 (NKJV)

18 Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction. 19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again. 20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days. 21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand. 22 What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil. 24 A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. 25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge. 26 He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach. 27 Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28 A disreputable witness scorns justice, And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity. 29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools.

This a a rich collection of wise proverbs that speaks a great deal about discipline.  Throughout the passage the reader is instructed to chasten his son, punish wrath, receive instruction, fear the Lord, strike the scoffer, beat fools.  While all of this may seem a bit overwhelming in its focus on corporal punishment and physical discipline, it teaches the reader a lesson that discipline is important to the acquisition of wisdom.  Discipline may take different forms today than in the day of Solomon, but discipline is still a valid way to teach wise living.  Indiscriminate entitlement and a complete lack of accountability leads to chaos and disregard for law and order.  A police state is not necessarily called for in any case, but a lack of order, again, only leads to disorder and chaos.  Have order in your life, and if you do not have order, be receptive to the discipline that can bring order.  It can save your life!

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