Ag in the Bible – Discipline
Hens are not dogs. And hens must not ever be played with. So she got in trouble. It doesn’t happen often. As a puppy she learned early on the birds and rabbits were not chew toys or playmates. She has been incredibly trustworthy with them but the noisy hen and pile of feathers told a different story.
The number of times she’s gotten in trouble outside can be counted on one hand with fingers left over. But we all make mistakes. Even Diva the Doberman.
We get corrected too. If we’re honest, it’s more often than Diva’s transgression with hens.
“He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.” Proverbs 5:23 (NIV)
“He who heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.”
Proverbs 10:17 (NIV)
Dogs can easily lead others astray. Even gentle dogs in a pack can follow the leader, and do things they’d never do on their own. Dogs can, indeed, die for lack of discipline and folly.
So can we. While no one likes to be corrected, in the long run it’s better than left to our own devices, and the transgression is much bigger than the loss of a hen.
“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV)
Spare the rod. Many think this means beating. The rod, a shepherds crook, is used to guide, catch, subdue the sheep, not to beat them. It can reach out to grab a sheep’s neck, catch them or hold them from danger. It can catch them for medical treatment. It can be guidance and discipline, not abuse if properly applied.
May we look to discipline and correction as a means to change back to the right path. Not a space of condemnation but a chance to not make a bigger mistake later.
Diva, like all dogs, lives in the moment. She got up from her correction, licked my hand and shook it off. A little while later she started sniffing where she shouldn’t.
“DIVA!” Her head popped up and she came to me, and was praised (for coming to me) rather than corrected. When I say “GIT outta that!” she’ll run for the front door.
How often do we come to Him? Do we run for the door or take our correction and learn? Are we more trainable than dogs?