Why We Should Love Discipline (Proverbs 12:1) - Radical

Why We Should Love Discipline (Proverbs 12:1)

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
– Proverbs 12:1

I’ve got to mention this. One of my children, our older boys read through the Bible with us, and one of them said, “Hey, did you know Dad, that there’s, like, a bad word in the Bible?” I said, “What are you talking about?” And he pointed to this Proverb, and said, “You know, it says stupid,” which we don’t say around our house. So, that’s a strong word in scriptural language. This led to a great conversation with my son, specifically on this issue of discipline. So, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid,” is dumb, is not smart.

God’s discipline is good for us, and we should want Him to keep us on the right path.

Proverbs 12:1 Leads Us to Seek Wise Discipline

So there’s a picture here in Proverbs 12:1. If we want to be wise, then we actually love discipline, which sounds pretty counterintuitive to us, right? Like, who of us really loves discipline? Like, my son, my kids, I don’t think would say they love discipline. I don’t think I would say my heart is inclined to love discipline, but we need discipline. All of us do. We are so prone to wander from the Lord. We’re so prone to live in a way that pleases ourselves instead of pleasing him, in a way that looks out for us instead of looking out for others, and so we need discipline. We need to be brought back to him. We need to be brought back to the life he has intended us to live.

But if we hate discipline, we won’t experience that life. In fact, that’s why it says, “He who hates reproof is stupid.” If we hate discipline and avoid reproof, then we will live lives of foolishness in this world. So, I would encourage us to think about areas of our lives where we need to grow in discipline, where we need to grow in our pursuit of God, and to pray for one another that we would have the humility to love discipline in our lives, and to love reproof in our lives, and in the process, to grow in wisdom.

This Verse Leads Us to Confess Sin and Love Discipline

So God help us, we pray. We confess. We’re not prone to love discipline, which is a dangerous combination. We’re prone to wander from you and we’re prone to despise, or hate, discipline. So we pray for the reverse of that. Lord, we want to seek you. We want to follow you. And we know that in order to do that, we need to love discipline. So discipline us, we pray, in whatever areas we need to be disciplined. Think about so many different areas of my life I need to grow in, so help me to love your discipline in these ways, that I might grow in righteousness. I pray this for each one of us.

Lord, help us to love discipline, to love reproof. Keep us from the stupidness of hating discipline and hating reproof. Lord, discipline us as a good father, out of your love for us that we might grow to experience your love more, and more, and more, every single day, and to walk in it, your love and the life you’ve intended for us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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