Sunday, February 1, 2009

Day 1. Stupid

(For the next 28 days, I’m going to walk through Proverbs 12 verse by verse, with short, quick thoughts. I hope you’ll read along with me.)

Proverbs 12:1
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.

I like this verse for a few reasons. First of all, it comes right out and says that if you hate correction, you're stupid. No wasted words, no soft peddling the truth or hand holding in the delivery. Yeah, you're stupid. Whenever I try to say, "The Bible is so complicated, I can't read it because it’s so difficult to figure out," I need to remember this verse.

Second, it drives home that we're going to be wrong. We're going to make mistakes. I get so stuck, so often on trying to be a perfect Christian. But in this verse, we're not told that the person that needs correction is stupid. We're not told that the person that made a mistake and needs a correction is stupid, we're told that the person that hates it is stupid. Big difference.

Third, it says we're supposed to "love discipline." Before I started getting up at 5:00AM to write Stuff Christians Like each morning I couldn’t stand discipline. At best, I could tolerate it. And I’d say we’re becoming better friends right now, me and discipline, but loving it is a whole different ball game. When is the last time you could honestly say that you "loved" it?

How's your relationship with discipline these days?

24 comments:

Malaysia said...

I am a 'new' Christian.. Well, lets just say that I have been growing in my faith for about a year and a half or so.. and Discipline is lovely once you learn it, and accept that you are being corrected. For example, one day.. I decided to fast. Later on in the day, I decided to cash my check, maybe pick up a few things from the grocery store (read: snacks).. While processing the check, it didnt go through for "some reason". I wasnt even mad.. Lol.. I had to remember.. I was fasting in the first place. God said.. "Uh-uh, baby.. Dont go there." Perhaps, those were not the correct words.. However, you get the drift. Lol..

Thanks for the blog, Jon! I love this site, and may God continue to bless you and your household =)

Pammy said...

My first response to discipline is to get all prickly and defensive. "how dare THEY say that to ME." I am stupid and blinded to my sin. Praise God for those in my life who love me and 'correct' me.

MrsTeacher said...

Jon-I'm teaching Sunday School this morning and our lesson is on discipline. It's never pleasant. It's a sign of God's deep love for His children. It's all about our response to it. We are going to see what tea bags do in cold water versus hot. I didn't practice this at home first, hope it works.

SAW said...

I would love to go a little deeper. I think that the discipline used in this context is the word--muwcat which means chastisement or reproof. It does however also list restraint as a definition. So, do you think we are talking about discipline (getting your hand slapped by the nun) or discipline ( slapping yourself around to wake up at 4 am to blog?). Curious. Either way, for me they are tough. When the Lord convicts me it hurts , but I know that I am loved and becoming more like Him when I repent. I am looking forward to this study! Thanks

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Discipline has been the cornerstone in my faith walk. You just don't "get Jesus" overnight. It takes strength, some risk, personal discipline, isn't always what you would choose to do, but oh, the reward is so great.

Love that 97seconds is back. Thanks, Jon.

Tori said...

Two words, Jon... two words: it sucks.

Kendra Golden said...

not feeling the love really

Prodigal Jon said...

SAW -
Thanks for sharing that. My hope is that folks will add their own knowledge to these ideas. I'm by no means a Bible scholar and you sharing the meaning of the word discipline was helpful.
Keep it up
Jon

heartafire said...

Oustanding, Jon.

My husband and I were having this discussion just this morning. I am so thankful for a marriage where he is a true "mirror" for me, and I can really see what I look like sometimes.
The Lord is so good to put people into our path who help us to grow along the lines He is willing us to.

I love that the root of the word "discipline" means "to follow," [I am unfamiliar with SAW's "mucwat"--- I have always heard that a disciple is a "follower" and that "discipline" means "to follow"]
thus the only thing I might add, is to be sure that the thing (or person) you are following is leading in the right direction. Not all discipline is of God.

Your SCL is so funny, but I love 97seconds even more.

Megan1 said...

Aye! Discipline. I need it. But it is so hard. I go through these points of being on track, reading the Bible, taking time to pray. And then something happens, not even something significant, and I just stop. Then I have to get over the hill to begin again. But I realize when I am practicing my life feels more present. And that is what I want more.

lenamarie said...

Awful. I always set my alarm for 5am so I can have some QT with Jesus, but when it goes off, I always hit the snooze button & calculate that if I don't fix my hair or don't eat breakfast, I can still be ready in time for work. I justify that by saying I'm not completely awake in the morning anyway, so why would God want to spend time with me when I'm not completely attentive to Him--just struggling to stay awake. I know I don't HAVE to spend time with God first thing in the morning, but that's usually the best time--the best way to start your day, acknowledging God. I should probably start honestly trying to get up early to spend time with God.

vikki (Philippines) said...

Sometimes, going through God's disciple makes me ask, "What was i thinking?" deciding to follow Christ... It just hurts too much. But then God is close to the brokenhearted and most of the time in the dark night of our soul do we meet Him.

Do count me in in going through Proverbs 12... I want to be less stupid...

tohealthenations said...

you touch a nerve here, jon.

I have trouble with discipline all my life, and i used to consider myself as a maverick. So it is tough call for me to live a disciplined life...
I am in healing ministry now, and I found that if you have a deficiency in your early life, then you need to compensate for that in later life. As I'm not discplined early in my life, I need someone else to discipline me now (it can be my wife, my boss or my peers), until I am able to discipline myself.
Thx Jon for the devotionals...
GBU, paul
btw. can i translate it into indonesian for my indonesian blog? http://hikmatpembaharuan.wordpress.com

MissMissie said...

Jon- way to go!! One must have a teachable spirit, or one may live in the land of stupidiy. Not a very nice place I have been there a time or two. At least I was just visiting and did not make it a long lasting zip code.

Sylvia Goode Basham said...

I'm sure you know that those direct, no words wasted verses are written especially for men, right? :-)

I have learned that discipline is my friend and that if it is *self* discipline instead of the external variety (aka consequences,) then I'm ahead of the game.

Thanks for the daily dose this month!

Daphne said...

A while ago God taught me (through my own correction of my child), that when he corrects us it is not just to tell us that we are wrong ot bad or to punish us.

He corrects us because when we make bad choices we start to walk away from Him a little (or a lot). He wants us to be close to Him! He greatly desires for us to be in intimate relationship with Him. He tells us that we are wrong so that we will can get back to being right. He always seeks to restore us to His side.

Having this kind of perspective of God's correction and discipline, seeing our loving God calling us to Himself in them, how can we but love that which brings us to the one who loves us more than we can imagine?

T.J. said...

I just hopped on board this blog, and I must say I'm already enjoying it...the concept of only 97 seconds being necessary provides a great 'don't make excuses' tool for Christians.

Oh, the blog...yeah. I love the brunt force and practicality of the Proverbs, how they just come out and say stuff.

So far, your interpretation is spot on...I hope you'll be relating the verses to each other?

Huggies said...

5AM?! So that's how you do it...I couldn't see how you had the time to keep up 3 blogs, write a book, work and raise kids/be a married person.
Are you one of those people who survive without sleep?

Me and discipline don't get on; nor do me and correction.
This one time at church, the preacher asked how many people read the bible for more than 5 mins a day. He got a pretty dismal response, and basically told us that that was pathetic, we need to do something about it.

I didn't take the correction well. Me and the bible don't get on either.

Why am I Christian again?

Julianna said...

Great post. It is wonderful to have those reminders. Being a parent of a budding 2 yr old I am 'disciplining' quite a bit now. There are those wonderful times where God illuminates His love for us through the love we have for our own children - even, maybe especially, through those discipline moments.

I am looking forward to this month.

Donna said...

discipline.....hard......necessary.......

remembering we're not perfect......hard....... necessary.....

Cornbread said...

It's funny how this is written. At first I obviously assumed I was not a stupid person, but then I realized I haven't signed-up for any correction lately. Solomon just called me stupid! Kindalike the Sonic commercials when you hear the "slap" sound.

Anonymous said...

Good post...

The best reminder for me on the need and want of God's discipline is in Hebrews 12:5-11.

Keep up the good work broheim.

AbeyAbraham said...

Nice blog bro. Looking forward to reading more. Discipline and I are not speaking at the moment. Just passing by each in the hallways.

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