This is part of a series where I am blogging on all of the chapter 12's in the Bible in 2012.
For my full devotional on all of the chapters in Proverbs, click here: PROVERBS
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
Let's investigate discipline for a minute- this is the root of discipleship. The gospel is great news of grace- but the fruit of grace is restraint and respect of God-ordained boundaries. A key fruit of sanctification is discipline and we learn discipline by being disciplined. The earlier this starts, the easier it is to become a habit.
Our culture of ease and comfort is less disciplined. I remember clearly looking over some of my grandfather's handwriting and noticed how clear and clean it was- those things were drilled in those days. Even though I have greatly grown in self discipline over my adult life, I do not consider myself a disciplined person. Part of that is never being in the military and being in a culture that loves luxury.
A good spring cleaning is a good place to start. When we had our home on the market last April, we had to keep it it 'spit shine' shape everyday- and it helped all of us to do so.
A key to discipline is the diligence to DO IT NOW. It also, for someone like me, takes help. I need someone to help me in the areas that I need to grow.
I love verse 3- "No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved."
In our fast paced, instant society- we admire the energy packed rise of the ruthless. I see it in coaching all the time. We are so hungry to win and win now, that we take the fast track- not realizing that the energy from what I call 'the black hat' sometimes has a quick rise and sudden fall.
Doing it right sometimes means slow and steady- but the roots are deep and the fruit comes for a long time. A great Biblical analogy is the root of Jesse- if you cut it down, the bud will show and the tree will regrow.
There is a lot about speech in this chapter as well: our words are to be true and few. We must be willing to hold secrets- that is an area I have progressed in, but we all need to get better in this society of whispers and innuendo.
Now the HARD part about discipline.
Deceit is in the heart of fthose who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
Our 'default mode' is not good. Left alone man will spiral downward to the music of their own foolish thinking.
And when we correct that- it usually creates immediate pushback.
NO LIKES THE PAIN of consequences... but consequences are usually the only impetus for a change of behavior.
In my job I try over and over to correct by words, to reason, to warn- but most of the time the student continues to follow the path until there is some pain.
Finally, it takes help. My wife and I have developed a discipline of exercise at 5AM- but it took both of us to make it a regular habit. We help each other when one doesn't feel like getting it done. Once we establish a routine, then it becomes habit.
Employ someone to help you in the areas that you desire more self-control.