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Discipline and the Lord

Discipline and the Lord

Proverbs 3 11-12

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in

You want the best for those you love, don’t you? God is the same. He wants us to have good relations with Him as well as others, He wants us to have longevity, confidence, success, security, health, and peace. Although none of these are guaranteed, they are what we long for naturally. When we were born, we didn’t know how to walk, talk, know right from wrong, make things, do things, all of this was learned. We learn to live with morals, honesty, and humility.

In some cultures, they gauge how good you are by how well you can best another, cheat them, always win. It is part of their way of life. In our culture, this is not the case, but we do not know that when we are babies. Everything we base our lives on is from what we learn, experience, or observe.

 Chuck Smith talks about the cause and effect in nature and that is a natural occurrence. You build a dam, and the water backs up and if the dam is not built properly it breaks and there is destruction. The same principles apply to people. If you kept trying to touch a burner you will get burnt. When you were young, your parents would try to stop you and eventually if you continued, would chasten you. They did it because they loved you and didn’t want you to get hurt. God does the same. If you are not a child of God, he wouldn’t care.

Life often seems to be a never-ending series of obstacles and challenges. Some are of our own making and others just happen to us. No one likes or wants affliction or trouble, but we all experience it. We need to learn from it and grow. To wallow in the self-pity of “why” does not help us in any way.

Yes, there are many things that happen which are catastrophic and hurtful, with long-lasting effects. But God gives us the tools and wherewithal to overcome them. There are many stories about people who have overcome daunting odds, people who are severely disabled, blind, disfigured, and crushed who claim that God helped them survive and thrive! Many are the times that I look at myself and say, “How can I complain about my situation when others have endured so much more!”

But that is not the point! We all have our own story and how we react to these stories. We have our feelings and pain and no matter what, we experienced them, and they are real.

Let’s look at the Proverbs again.

The Hebrew word for despise is MAAS. It means to reject, cast away, waste away, and refuse. And the Hebrew word for “not the chastening” is MUSAR. Musar refers to ethics. John J. Parsons sums it up beautifully when he wrote, “fatherly correction intended to impart moral discipline and character… Correction, then, is the primary means by which God reveals both His character to us and our own characters to ourselves….”

Musar is essential in life, it is the instructions on living a meaningful and ethical life – a virtue-based way of living.

How does God discipline us?

He does not beat us, cause us to have pain, rain bad things to happen to us, nor cause disease, pestilence, storms, or other nasty things. He wants us to commune with him, pray, talk, and read His Word – the Bible. By reading the Bible we learn the way He wants us to live, act, think, and behave.

As in all things, we must corroborate this with actual proof from the Bible. We cannot take anything at face value.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”  2 Timothy 3:16  NKJV

“For whom the Lord loves He chastens and scourges every son whom He receives.”  7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.   Hebrews 12:6-8   NKJV

How about Self-Discipline?

Much has been written about self-discipline and the importance there is to have it. Studies have shown that people with a strong sense of self-discipline outperform others by a vast margin, whether they are young or old. In general, there is an 80% failure rate to achieving one’s goals or resolution.

By developing self-discipline, you can overcome many challenging obstacles and how do you do that?

  1. Have goals – and keep them in mind when faced with a situation that makes you doubt your resolve.
  2. Prioritize what is important and work on only the things that are important to you.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up when you fail. Accept yourself and promise yourself to do better. Hating yourself or being angry with yourself does not change a thing, it takes you deeper into resentment and failure.
  4. Remove any distractions. Set times to do all the tasks or fun things you want to do. When you are working on your priorities – work on your priorities.
  5. Take small steps. Acting can sometimes be daunting, but nothing ever happens without taking action. Start by taking baby steps and picking up the pace.
  6. Create a system that you stick to. Some call them routines or rituals. But if you organize yourself in such a way that taking the right steps becomes a habit it is a lot easier to follow through on any quest.
  7. The best ritual you can have is to read the Bible every day. It will ground you and give you the answer and comfort you need.


Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.


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