Proverbs 12 has Solomon starting with some pretty strong words about the importance of discipline. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” I’m not sure how to get much clearer than that. If we have any smarts at all, we learn quickly to appreciate discipline and being corrected. Not that it feels good, but the outcome is what is important. If we are perfect, it isn’t an issue. But since none of us are we have to learn to appreciate correction. I’m reminded of what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 when he penned “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work”.
All four of these things tend to align with Solomon’s opening line – that we need discipline. And to run from it is plain stupid. It’s how we will be equipped to serve God. We all have things that need correcting and God’s in the business of growing each of us to Christlike maturity. We need to cooperate and receive the discipline in whatever form it comes. But the outcome of that learning is pretty sweet. “A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of evil he condemns”. If we learn to do things God’s way, good things follow!
He goes on to say “The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand”. Yet another promise regarding us getting our house in order and learning to walk in righteousness. If we simply do what we want, we miss the blessing God wants to dump on us. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice”. We don’t have all the answers. We need to surround ourselves with godly people who will speak truth into our lives and provide accountability to God’s ways.
Solomon drives home the importance of truth. “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment….Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight”. We need to learn to be truth tellers. But along with that we also need to learn to be truth hearers. Truth is not always easy to give or listen to, but it is the foundation of righteousness. That is the path we need to seek. It is what yields the life we desire. “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death”. Are you on the disciplined path to truth that will lead you to righteousness and a blessed life?