Lesson 81

Proverbs 10:17 says

He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

Discipline comes in many ways to us. Sometimes it does not seem fair. Other times it makes no sense. Are we given a coupon to ignore it then? No. Discipline, rules, laws are there and are to be heeded. Why? Because God said that we were to respect authority. That authority comes in the form of parents, bosses, legal system, and God.

By obeying we discover life. By ignoring it we take others with us over into the abyss. We compound our mistakes.

I have to tell the story of a young man who was in a situation with the law. He had committed a few crimes and was paying for them. One of them was exceedingly unfair and downright stupid. By the letter of the law he would have to go his life with a mark on himself. No one agreed with this. It was an enforcement of a law that was more of a technicality. It was ruining his life. He decided to fight that one conviction while serving time for a different one in jail and on probation.

Where does he fit in this verse? He wanted to break the laws that were unjust. He had special rules on him that most ex cons did not. Though these rules were ridiculous and might be overturned, he decided to go ahead and break them. The end result would be prison for up to eight years. If he took wisdom and obeyed the discipline administered to him whether it was fair or not, he could be completely out from under some of the rules in a year and a half and be able to fully fight the unfair conviction. If he ignored the discipline and chose his own path, he would go to jail for years and have all his family and friends in trouble with the law.

Discipline is there to guide us. When it comes from God, it is never unjust though possibly painful. When it comes from man, it is often unjust as well as painful. We are to avoid either one. Humbling ourselves to discipline shows maturity, ethics, and integrity. Refusing to follow discipline and heed its warning is giving ourselves over the devil and letting him amuck among our lives and those around us.