Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 15)
Loving God's Spankings*
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11-12 (NKJV)
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life...
Proverbs 6:23 (NKJV)
He who hates correction is stupid.
Proverbs 12:1 (NKJV)
He who disdains instruction despises his own soul,
But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
Proverbs 15:32 (NKJV)
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
Revelation 3:19 (NKJV)
I don't like fasting, but I still do it. I don't like workouts, but I still need them. I don't like submission, but I'm trying. I don't like cross-carrying, but I must. If I don't like correction, then I'm wrong. Because the easy path is not for me, and I need reminders to keep me straight.
God's Word calls correction by many names: wounds, reproof, rebuke, scourging and the rod; discipline, chastening and instruction. Correction comes from teachers and churches; parents, friends, outsiders and enemies. Correction comes in varying degrees.
Correction is a great blessing when it descends upon our consciousness gently: like rain cleansing us from wrong intentions, Scripture clearing up misunderstandings, or a parent's appeal changing our minds.
But correction is an equal blessing when it hits us like a bolt of thunder, disrupting our lives in unhappy ways: like personal and national failures, friends and family who abandon us, or a culture embracing lawlessness.
God gives us many chances to improve, ranging from tender words to sharpened swords. Consider the Apostle Paul's advice about a scandalous Corinthian: 'Hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the Day of the Lord' (1 Corinthians 5:5).
Because suffering from fleshly losses beats suffering for all eternity. Sadly, some people must learn the hard way, and I am one who has been among them.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: When you are thankful for discipline, you acknowledge God as your Father and the tough lesson(s) He has allowed. You've set yourself up for two outcomes:
1) Because you're willing to receive truth and do not run away from reproof (even when it comes from a donkey),** your discipline will be easier.
2) Because your learning curve is faster and you're not beating the truth-teller (even when he kicks like a donkey), your promotion will come more quickly.***
To Be Continued...
* Other Verses on godly correction to consider:
* 'Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it' (Hebrews 12:11).
'And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.'
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons' (Hebrews 12:5-7).
** The Story of Balaam's Donkey: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+22%3A21-39
*** Receiving godly correction is a good thing. Receiving demeaning lies is a bad thing. They don't come from God, but Satan. If hurtful words come from a place of love, consider them correction, and ask God in prayer to confirm them. He will. If hurtful words come from a place of hatred, consider them curses and deny them in the Name of Jesus. Ask God to remove them. He will.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.