The Wise Embrace Discipline

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There is a saying of “pay me now or pay me later.”  This saying may seem modern, but this Proverb shows how timeless the wisdom is.

Proverbs 5:11-14: “11 At the end of your life you will groan,
    when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
    How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers
    or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble
    in the assembly of God’s people.”

Hindsight is 20-20

The subject of these verses is looking back on their life.  Obviously, that makes for a time where decisions can be viewed along with the impact of those decisions.  The subject fought discipline and correction all their life.  However, this approach has a cost.  We can lookback on situations where we should have listened to others.  Fortunately, we do not have to wait until mistakes have been made to correct these mistakes.  We have looked at how the wise are always listening and learning.  This is the core of discipline and correction.  We must be open to opportunities to grow and improve or suffer the conseqeuences.

The Consequences Are Far-Reaching

These verses bring up consequences of body and repute.  At the end, our body will be spent and we will be in trouboe in the assembly of God’s people.  This proclamation is more than being out of favor with the local church.  In the time of this writing the assembly of God’s people amounted to all of your friends and neighbors.  When you lack discipline everyone will know it.  You might even be labelled as “trouble” and avoided when possible.

Teaching Children this Wisdom

Most kids are not fans of school and learning.  At least not when it is labelled as such.  Part of this aversion to discipline is likely based in how we administer it.  When dsicipline is an act of revenge and not instruction it sends the wrong message.  I like to turn to puzzles and other challenges that are much easier once the key is learned.  The puzzles you find at truck stops, craft fairs, and Cracker Barrels are the best.  Most of thse puzzles have a “trick” that is required to solve them.  It may be how your approach separating two nails that have beenn twisted together or patterns to be able to remove all but one peg from a board.

Let your children try to figure out the puzzles for a while.  Then teach them the trick.  The “impossible” puzzle becomes possible.  At this point, discuss how learning the trick made the challenge easier.  You can then expand to topics like learning math problems (addition leads to multiplication), athletic skills (tee ball leads to hitting pitches), or even life skills (boiling water leads to pasta and other meals).  The learning and practice at the start of a pursuit open up greater possibilities later.  This is a lesson that applies throughout life and well worth learning.

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