"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him" Hebrews 12:5 quoting Proverbs 3:11
Regard lightly The Greek word here is oligorei from two other words oligos ("little") and ora ("care"). Since this verse in Hebrews quotes a verse in Proverbs, we are able to look at the Hebrew word as well. That word is ma'en. It means, "to refuse". You can see how strong this word is when you realize that it is used to describe Pharaoh's rejection of Moses' demand to let the people go.
Our translation, "do not regard lightly", is not strong enough. This verse is telling us not to cast aside or reject God's discipline. If we refuse His discipline, our lives get worse. We wander further away from the path He wants us to travel.
Many times we complain when life does not go the way we expect it to. Many times we are simply ungrateful for the hard times that come our way. These two words tell us something important. Life is not ours to control. God brings circumstances into our lives in order to correct us, just as we discipline our own children in order to insure their behaviors will keep them safe and nourish their growth. Although the culture has made a joke of it, there is truth in the saying, "This is for your own good". God's chastisements are precisely "for our own good". Since He is the perfect Father, He knows exactly what we need and how much we need. He is never abusive. His motivation is always pure. Why do we have so much trouble seeing His discipline that way? It's probably because we don't like discipline, at any age.
But Christian maturity means welcoming discipline as a necessary element of growth.
"Father, I'm sorry for fighting you. I know that You order the circumstances of my life. My steps need to be in line with Your path. Turn my heart toward you. Forgive me for my excuses and my blaming others. Open my eyes to Your correction in my life. I don't want to refuse Your efforts to lead me in the paths of righteousness. Thank you for loving me so much You are willing to correct me. Search my heart, Lord. If you find anything there that is keeping me from full participation in Your will for me, correct it. I know it is for my own good."
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inspirational devotions by Skip Moen.
"Today's Word" devotional, from Skip Moen . © 2003 is used by permission. All rights reserved.
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