Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”
There is no way according to the Bible to be a true disciple of Christ, without being disciplined and corrected by God. If we are not receiving God’s discipline and correction it’s because we are not truly His children. The Bible states in Hebrews 12:5-8, “5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’ 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.”
The word discipline (from the Latin word for “disciple”) means, “corrective instruction.” In the New Testament a Christian cannot be considered Jesus’ disciple without accepting His discipline. Jesus wants His disciples to receive God’s discipline, correction and rebuke because they go hand in hand with following Him. If you love Jesus, you’ll love His corrective instruction, if you don’t, according to King Solomon you’re stupid.
In the biblical context both God and man for the purpose of spiritual growth give discipline. Sadly, some Christians think that when they get corrected or disciplined in the church the leadership is on a power trip. However, every good organization must have discipline and the church is no different; even more so because the leadership is responsible for the people’s souls. The author of Hebrews wrote, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you,” (Hebrews 13:17).
At the same time, the church shouldn’t be rude, legalistic, petty, meddling or micro-managing. The right balance of encouragement and discipline is given by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” The church should consider its preaching and teaching to be 1/3 correction, 1/3 rebuking and 1/3 encouraging for the purpose of giving “careful instruction.” Many Christians think the church should give them 1/3 encouragement, 1/3 fun and 1/3 suggestions! However, God didn’t give us “10 Suggestions” or “10 Encouragements,” rather He gave us, “10 Commandments.”
Certainly, God loves to encourage us, but His encouragement will not come at the expense of His holiness. God is both altogether loving and holy. A wise man once said, “God disciplines us because He loves us. The corrections and rebukes of God serve as guard rails on the paths of righteousness so we don’t drive off the cliff.”
Today’s proverb teaches us that whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge but whoever hates correction is stupid. Answer the following questions to see if you love discipline or act in stupidity when it comes to correction; (1) When corrected by a good leader, do you accept it or make excuses? (2) After being shown you’re wrong, do you repent or try to bring out the wrongs of the one who is correcting you to even the score (i.e., “correcting the corrector”)? (3) Do you have godly leaders in your life who can discipline you with God’s Word or do you just have people that tell you what you want to hear?
- Repent of any stupidity you might have from hating correction.
- Ask God to make you humble and teachable; a lover of discipline.
- Find a good church with great leaders who can disciple you and train you to disciple others!