Proverbial Wisdom – Love’s Discipline

Why does getting Wisdom hurt?

Wisdom often comes the pain of failure. A life of pleasure rarely, if ever results in wisdom.

Proverbs Chapter 3

– – –

    The weeks had rolled into months and the months into years. The bond between father and son had grown beyond anything he could have hoped for.

      “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”

    His son was asking unusually deep questions. All the while, the father himself has been also asking some deep questions. He had also been receiving some deep answers. But these answers to the questions of his soul were deep because they were profound in their simplicity.

      “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

    This father had changed. He was becoming a better man. But not all the changes were obvious. In fact, most of the changes were invisible to others. Many of the changes this father had made were heartfelt.

      “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

    Some of them were counter-intuitive. He had always been considered a successful man and with his success had come great wealth and power.

      “So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”

    In his grief as he had sought the God of Peace he discovered that in order to keep something you should give it away.

      “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”

    He had first learned to do this with his material wealth and soon realised that this principle brought great comfort to him as a father as well. He went from defining himself as a father of one to once again defining himself as a father of five.

      “It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

    This father had felt the Lord’s rebuke. He was now a disciplined man-a man who had been chastened and disciplined. In his earlier prideful state, he had resisted such life-saving correction.

      “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.”

    Now he recognised God’s disapproval and discipline for what it really was: his welfare.

      “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”

    Up until the time his dark secret had been exposed and he suffered the consequences of losing his four eldest boys and his dear wife, this father had been an angry man. A flirt. A womaniser. A loud man. Things had now changed. He sought out different company.

      “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.”

    Success brings with it many trials. Most of these trials he had failed. He was constantly fearful, constantly worried. He had to outlay much for his protection and security but still he never felt safe. He was rude to his employees. He was dishonest with his creditors. His overly competitive drive to succeed had led him to treat those with promise with contempt. He plotted their downfall. That was then. That was a father his now only son had never known and as far as possible would never learn about, hoped this reformed dad.

      “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.”

    He now regarded his former way of conduct as disgraceful. In many respects he had now unwittingly become an even more successful man – but by a different standard. He longed for his son to be the beneficiary of his contrition.

      “The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.”

– – –

Experience is the nice word for wisdom gained through pain. The person who will not learn from their mistakes is a fool. The one who not only learns from their mistakes but accepts correction, discipline, and rebuke, is a wise person. One day we will all stand before God. Would you rather be rebuked and disciplined by Him in this life for a moment, or to be rebuked and punished by Him for eternity? Please choose the former and surrender your life to Jesus Christ this very moment before it’s too late.
Amen.

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About Dr Andrew Corbett

Pastor, Teacher, Theologian, Writer, Speaker, Coach.
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