Prayer for the day
I have said to the LORD, “You are my God; listen, O LORD, to my supplication.”
Scripture for the day
“Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”
These have to be some of the hardest words in the Proverbs. It’s easy to give advice (especially bad advice) and lovely to dole out discipline, but being on the receiving end of either, and being grateful and obedient, those are things that few of us relish.
However, the writer of Proverbs does not speak about these things being enjoyable. He speaks of them as necessary for growth and wisdom. If advice and discipline are not heeded, one moves further down the path of wickedness and debauchery. It is only in following godly advice and heeding godly discipline that the one who desires to be righteous will achieve it, according to the writer. Wisdom does not come easily or all on its own!
Paul has similar things to say about discipline in his second letter to the church in Corinth. He was pretty harsh with the people of Corinth in his first letter, presumably because they were not following Jesus well in much of how they were treating one another and how they were living. Paul took them to task on a number of issues, and he did so, he says, with a heavy heart, because doling out discipline is sometimes an onerous task. Paul did it, however, not so that they would be ashamed, and not to induce serious guilt that would fester, but so that they would repent and believe again, that they would modify the way they were treating each other and see the light of Christ.
To his delight, they took his discipline in the way he had intended, and they were wise in their dealings because of it. They chose the path of obedience, and it had become for them the path of life!
Let us choose a similar path!