Today's Word of Encouragement
THE DISCIPLINING WORD
Friday, April 08, 2020
We often get discipline confused with punishment, but there is a big difference between the two.
- Discipline - training to act in accordance with rules, principles, or laws; an activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.
- Punishment - a penalty inflicted for an offense, fault.
Mortimer J. Adler, a great American philosopher, educator, and popular author of the last generation wrote, “True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.” Most of us never think of discipline as promoting freedom, but it makes sense. We enjoy many freedoms in this country because people believe and practice discipline. If we didn’t, we would live in chaos. Can you imagine what it would have been like to live in the days of the Old Testament judges? In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).
King David knew the value of discipline by the Word of God. He also knew the sting of punishment when God’s Word wasn’t honored. In the ‘Teth’ (T) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 65-72), David praises the Lord for the discipline of His Word:
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word (v. 67).
The point is, when David ignored or turned away from the Word of God in his life, he got into all kinds of trouble. His rebelliousness and disregard for God’s Word brought chaos into his life, which afflicted (humbled) him. When he repented and returned to the Word of God, his life was brought back into order. His testimony was that the Word of God became more valuable to him than anything else in life.
The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces (v. 72).
Discipline is not always appreciated by people today, but without it the life is ruined, and punishment becomes bitter. With discipline in the Word of God, our life is filled with divine wealth beyond measure.
“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses (challenges) their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each” (Plato).
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).