For many of us, we have been enduring the hardships of social distancing and mandatory self-isolation for several weeks now. We are struggling against loneliness, persevering against boredom, and attempting to quell the growing frustration inside. The verses today talk about discipline, suffering, and correction the Lord ordains for the moral and spiritual nurturing of His children, and that it is always designed for their good. So how then can we look at this unique time in our lives in a favorable light not a negative one? It can start by simply asking God, “What do You want to teach me during this time, and how can I most benefit from it?” The other thing to remember is – don’t despise the Lord’s discipline and don’t resent His correction, (Proverbs 3:11-12) and you will come out on the other side of this as a more positive, hopeful, and encouraged person.
The Writer of this proverb was pretty blunt…if you’re opposed to God’s correction in your life, you’re dumb! We know that God disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12), but until we can realize it’s for our benefit not detriment…we’ll continue to rebel against His correction. Proverbs 9:9 says, ” Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” Greater wisdom and understanding can only be found in the “education” of God’s discipline.
When God disciplines us we have two courses of action. We can either refuse it, thinking it’s only punishment. Or we can accept it, viewing it as positive correction for our good. Jeremiah talked about God disciplining him like an unruly calf, which if you’ve ever worked with livestock…you know what Jeremiah is talking about! You want the herd to follow the safe path, but suddenly they decide they’d rather go the opposite way…straight into danger. They are turning away from what they see as punishment (they’re being told where to go), and not accepting the discipline as what’s best for them. (they are unaware of the peril ahead)