Correction and Discipline

Proverbs 12
To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.

The LORD approves of those who are good, but he condemns those who plan wickedness.
Wickedness never brings stability; only the godly have deep roots.
A worthy wife is her husband’s joy and crown; a shameful wife saps his strength.
The plans of the godly are just; the advice of the wicked is treacherous.
The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.
The wicked perish and are gone, but the children of the godly stand firm.
Everyone admires a person with good sense, but a warped mind is despised.
It is better to be a nobody with a servant than to be self-important but have no food.
The godly are concerned for the welfare of their animals, but even the kindness of the wicked is cruel.
Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time.
Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, while the godly bear their own fruit.
The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble.
People can get many good things by the words they say; the work of their hands also gives them many benefits. 
Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies.
Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed.
Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
No real harm befalls the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
The LORD hates those who don’t keep their word, but he delights in those who do.
Wise people don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their folly.
Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. 
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find.
The way of the godly leads to life; their path does not lead to death.

To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction. (vs. 1)

When I was growing up, I took piano lessons. I would practice every day and then go to my lesson and play for my teacher. I found that even when I had been playing a song for months, she would still find corrections for me. There were other times I would play it as I felt it should be played…only to be corrected later. How I responded to her correction determined how well I was going to be able to play that song. When I ignored her, I continued to have trouble playing those pieces, because I didn’t apply her correction. However, when I took her lessons and applied them, I improved and was able to become a better player.

This isn’t a novel concept. If you’ve ever played sports or music…. Or tried to develop any skill, you’ve seen the importance of correction and discipline. But how often do we apply these principles to life? Because none of us are perfect, we need discipline and correction in life to help us walk with God and make wise decisions. God puts people in our lives to help us do just that. In order to accept and benefit from this truth, we need humility. Part of being wise is recognizing our limits and accepting correction in the knowledge that there is someone who knows more than we do and cares enough about us to share that truth with us. How willing are we to accept godly correction?

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” (verse 15)

Do I recognize my need to listen to the advice of people who are older and more mature than I am, or am I so caught up in looking like I have it all together that I don’t listen to advice that can save me from a lot of struggle and heartache? This verse says that a wise man listens to advice. Sometimes I would rather look like I have it all together than ask for help and have people see that I’m not perfect or don’t know what I’m doing. But a huge part of being wise is recognizing your limits and asking for help.

Who do you go to for help? Do you look for advice from godly people who you know are going to point you in the right direction, or do you ask friends who are more concerned with pleasing you. Even more importantly, do you seek advice from God or man? Whose approval are you seeking? Would you rather be seen by God as a faithful follower or by your friends as someone who doesn’t usually mess up?

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