Proverbs 19:18

Discipline your son, for there is hope;
do not set your heart on putting him to death.

The principal of a high school learned the ability to discern which poorly performing students had potential of turning things around and which were likely to remain mired in their self-defeating behavior. It was the response of their parents to discipline. If their parents were quick to defend their children when disciplined, it was a sign of doom for the students. If their parents supported discipline and added their own, then there was hope that at some point the students would catch on to where their behavior was leading them and begin to apply themselves.

Right discipline is what parents do because they love their children and have hopes for their success. The absence of discipline is a sign that parents have given up hope and have never had special hopes to begin with. In essence their unacknowledged intent is their children’s deaths – figuratively and even literally. Their hope is not to be bothered by their children.

Give thanks that we have a Father who loves us enough to discipline us, who allows for our bad behavior to bring upon us difficult consequences. Give thanks for a Father who leads us through trials that our faith may be purified. Give thanks for a Father whose sure hope is our eternal life, and thus will do whatever is necessary to lead us to our destination, causing all things to work for our good.

Give thanks that we have a Brother who received the discipline of death that we might live; whose sufferings led to our blessings and turned our sufferings into loving discipline of a kind Father.

 

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org