The dictionary defines “discipline” as self-control, an area of study, or the unnerving consequence of punishment. For me, as a baby boomer, the latter applies. I grew up in a strict, disciplinarian environment, both at home and in the schools I attended. If I did not submit to the rigid rules, I received a stern verbal warning. If I did not heed it, then as a consequence of my disobedience, I experienced a more stringent punishment. As I reflect on that, I realize the deeper significance of submission.
In Solomon’s life wisdom journal known as Proverbs — perhaps a reflection on his own life choices and experience — he emphatically encourages the reader to receive counsel and embrace correction because they initiate and cultivate obedience. If we accept Solomon’s advice, he assures us that our decision reflects wisdom. He also reminds us that our plans are not the Lord’s plans; however, when we listen and humbly accept the Lord’s advice and discipline, our humility allows Him to accomplish His will through us, and His purposes prevail.
What can we learn from Solomon’s timely life lessons? Mostly, God refines and conforms our character through counsel and discipline — not as a stern disciplinarian, but as our loving Father. Often, throughout life, we can easily neglect His counsel to prioritize. We can appease the selfish and disobedient plans of our hearts, often with undesirable consequences.
By humbly and obediently following His counsel, we see Him provide godly wisdom such that His purposes prevail in our hearts, our minds, and our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you always have my best interests at heart. As my loving Father, give me ears to hear your counsel and give me humility to submit to your correction. May your plans become my plans so that your purposes prevail in my heart, my mind, and my life. Amen.
Go Deeper — Ask yourself if you submit to the Lord’s counsel and correction. Read through Proverbs 19, and then consider Solomon’s words as if they were your own. Begin your own life wisdom journal and record your wisdom insights and the Lord’s counsel as you daily surrender and allow God to refine and conform your character to reflect His heart.
Photo Credit: Faye Cornish