Study from God’s Word… Many Proverbs listed in The Daily Bible in Chronological Order from Proverbs 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, ordered by topics including Advice/Rebuke, Advisers, Discipline, Lawkeeping, Repentance, as well as Good and Evil … Passage for Reflection: Prov. 23: 13-14… NIV Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.
My Journal for Today: What do we do with this truth? It is proverbial truth, isn’t it? But the “spare the rod and spoil the child” principle has wavered in our culture with application, hasn’t it?
Personally, with regard to our own parenting, we used “the rod” sparingly, … but effectively; and it seemed to help our two girls, who could be a bit difficult at times in their formative years of development. And they have turned out to be very “good” girls with great parenting skills, both of whom, BTW, use disciplining with their “wooden spoons,” which we’ve observed being used selectively and effectively to raise our grandkids.
But I want to take this discussion a bit beyond the application of family parenting this morning and discuss something raised by Dr. Smith; and that is how Churches, or the family of God, use discipline to help raise up the children of God in the family of God for Christlike discipleship and the glory of God. As an Elder in a rather large church, I don’t think churches today take this proverbial principle of solid discipline seriously enough to let God, the Holy Spirit, use the church to help disciples grow in their faith and avoid death-producing sin in their lives. And I really don’t have enough space/time to discuss this very complex, but pertinent, topic here today.
Save it to say, churches today have gotten away from what Jesus taught in Matthew 18, as well as some of Paul’s teachings, to help the church to discipline its members; and by being slack in this area of discipleship, I believe we do not allow God’s Spirit to work as effectively and powerfully as He could to help God’s flock to grow into the abiding and fruitful relationship with Christ which I believe God desires for all of His children.
I hope you meditate on this passage today, maybe considering how you have parented your children; but also from the standpoint of how your church disciplines its members. When is the last time you knew of a brother or sister in Christ being disciplined by your church as is prescribed and taught in the New Testament Scripture? Perhaps if families disciplined their kids more strictly and lovingly and churches lovingly and strongly disciplined their members, we would not have many of the social evils we see growing in our culture and churches today.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help Your body, the Church, to execute loving and rightful discipline as You have spelled it out in Your word. Amen