Man Am I Stupid

Not exactly the uplifting title you would expect for a blog post,  but there is some truth in it, especially in light of Proverbs 12:1,

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”  

I actually love this verse and the NIV translation leaves little to the imagination.  One does not need a full working knowledge of the Hebrew language to get the idea that’s it’s pretty stupid to run from God’s discipline.  It’s pretty clear that in God's economy correction is a good thing and beneficial to us, yet in my experience most people are not naturally inclined to embrace it, or like it, let alone love it! But correction, in particular correction that comes from the hand of God, is a necessary and unavoidable part of relationship with God---“because the LORD disciplines those he loves” (Proverbs 3:12).

The problem is that when I am being corrected and disciplined by God, I don’t always see it as the hand of a loving Father who is looking out for me and helping me grow spiritually. I tend to see the testing and sundry of other not so appealing elements and it is my tendency to avoid it at all costs. Yet I know that it is through the times of correction that I experience the most spiritual growth.  It is when life picks me up and slams me to the ground that I am made acutely aware of my need. And that is the place I actually find to be the safest. When I am aware of my need, it causes me to turn to the only One who can meet that need.  The Apostle Paul, who seemed to be always cognizant of God’s refining fire, called it “glorying in weakness.”

The important thing is that we need to be aware, alert and paying attention when the time of correction comes, so that we do not try to escape or elude it.  We need to be careful not to seek to invalidate the correction because it comes from someone or some situation that we deem unworthy of bringing correction to us. Remember God used the Philistines to bring correction to the Israelites.  God can and will use any way and means to bring about the work and growth He desires in His children.  Let’s not forget this certainty: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”  (Hebrews 12:11).

Let’s not be stupid.  Let’s not allow ourselves to hate correction, even though we are not always too thrilled with the painful process. Let’s find reassurance in the fact that correction is an indication that God loves us, knows we exist and is looking out for us.  Amen to that!