Proverbs 12:1 ESV
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Discipline and reproof are an essential part of any parent’s arsenal. When a kid throws a tantrum over not getting ice cream (incidentally launching his brussel sprouts in a parabolic arc towards the floor), his mother and father know that simply sitting and watching isn’t a good idea. After all, how else will he learn restraint, learn patience, learn self- control? Reproof, perhaps discipline, is the only acceptable course. He must be taught what is right, what is wrong, and what evil leads to.
Grown-ups don’t usually have a singular authority to slap them on the wrist or send them to the corner when they’re naughty. Sin, though, still has consequences. Perhaps this sin does not run up against the government or employer or family or church, and therefore nobody will actively seek to punish it. The fruit of sin is in the end death (Romans 6:23).
For the believer, this news is a sweet comfort. He knows that when he strays from God’s straight and narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14), God will guide him back into it. Perhaps, like Bunyan’s Christian, he will undergo great suffering in the castle of the giant Pride; perhaps, like Samson, he turn back to God only after many stubborn, foolish choices, will therefore face great torment (Judges 16). Regardless, God will discipline him, grant him reproof in the mouth of His servants or His word, and bring him back into the fold (Psalm 23; John 10:11-18).
For the unbeliever, this proverb is a great warning. What greater reproof has God offered than when He said, “The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed” (Matthew 26:24)? Remember, every man who does not repent of his sin and turn entirely to rest his cause upon God is, in the end, a traitor, for God made man, and man to God owes homage. What foolishness, therefore, is it to spurn this reproof, to laugh at the discipline of God, and to disdain his mercy! For the end of such a man is hellfire and the eternal wrath of the Almighty.
Be glad, therefore, when you are reproved, and heed His guidance, especially when it hurts. As Hebrews 12:11 says, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.