Summary: Walking with God means we must be willing to mix discipline with compassion in the right ratios and in the right situations. There is a time to be firm and buckle down and a time to open your heart.
A Sane Perspective Upon Discipline and Compassion
(Proverbs 19:14-15, 17-18)
1. Discipline and compassion are connected. For example, if teachers do not keep a class under control, students cannot learn and that affects their futures.
2. A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.
Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.
He had no trouble with discipline that term.
3. The Bible emphasizes both compassion and discipline. We see both in Proverbs.
Main Idea: Walking with God means we must be willing to mix discipline with compassion in the right ratios and in the right situations. There is a time to be firm and buckle down and a time to open your heart.
I. Compassion: Relational Blessings Are Better Than MATERIAL Ones (14)
A. You can inherit much from your parents, but not a SPOUSE
• House and wealth indirectly come from the Lord, not directly
• But the point of the Proverb is that being blessed with a godly spouse who obeys the Lord is better than a wonderful house and great lands
B. A PRUDENT wife is a gift from God
1. An example would be Ruth; unknown to Boaz, but a godly woman with sense
2. This is in contrast to the contentious wife of Proverbs 19:13
3. We can obsess about our appearance that our inside is in shambles
4. Proverbs 31:30 is a good summary: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
5. The balancing point/discipline: We must seek to be prudent/godly:
I Peter 3:3-5, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands…”
Walking with God means we must be willing to mix discipline with compassion in the right ratios and in the right situations.
II. Discipline: Laziness Can Become A Vicious CIRCLE (15)
A. If we forsake routine, we get caught in an addicting CYCLE
B. SLEEP can become the norm and work a fear
• When a man is out of work, he can get trapped in this cycle
• Sleep then becomes an escape, a way to cope with depression
• Some people have a negative view of sleep; in Scripture, it is a blessing to sleep well; but good things can be taken to an extreme, as in this Proverb
• Then people view work as so awful and obligation as enslavement
• When it comes to ministry, some people do not want to get involved in something that requires a regular routine – same reason, inflated fear of confinement/imprisonment