Summary: PROVERBS – Wisdom for Right Living #7 “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.”


Many of our kids are now back to school, so I thought it might be good for them to be encouraged to see mom and dad take a pop quiz this morning! This morning we are going to continue with our 7th message from the book of Proverbs, “Wisdom for Right Living.” Over the last several weeks we have looked so far at seven keys to have wisdom in our daily lives. Without looking at the sermon notes tucked away in your bibles how many of these can you remember . . . by the way we need to have 5 correct answers to pass!

Key #1: Start with God; Fear the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7)

Key #2: Learn wisdom from those who fear the Lord. (Proverbs 1:8-19)

Key #3: Answer wisdom’s call; wisdom is found in our daily choices. (Proverbs 1:20-21)

Key #4: Remember the Law of the Harvest; consequences follow your actions. (Proverbs 1:22-33)

Key #5: Let authentic love lead you everyday; make love your guide and your motive. (Proverbs 3:3-4)

Key #6: Depend fully upon God alone; in everything rely upon God with absolute confidence and hope. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

Key # 7: Wealth and possessions are not ours to own; everything belongs to God and is ours on loan. (Proverbs 30:8-9)

We come today to the eighth key; one that all of us know something about (even the kids).

• Proverbs 3:11-18 (NLT)

[11] My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you. [12] For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

[13] Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding. [14] For the profit of wisdom is better than silver, and her wages are better than gold. [15] Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. [16] She offers you life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. [17] She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. [18] Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.

Key #8: The path to wisdom is not always easy; it sometimes goes through the hard places of discipline. Discipline leads to wisdom through instruction in righteousness. (Proverbs 3:11-18)

Solomon makes a connection between discipline and wisdom. Notice he says those who find wisdom and understanding are happy; they are blessed by God!

The connection between wisdom and discipline is emphasized through what Solomon says about wisdom. Wisdom is more profitable than silver; it’s more valuable than gold or rubies; “nothing you desire compares with her [wisdom].”

How often as children are we disciplined for taking something we were told we couldn’t have. We ask, beg and plead with our parents to give in and let us have what we want, but they tell us “NO!”

When mom and dad say “no” does that change our desire to want what they say we can’t have? Not very often! So when they aren’t looking we take what we want anyway—then what happens. Sometimes we get caught don’t we! That’s when our parents discipline us for our disobedience.

Solomon tells us that wisdom gained through discipline is better than any of the riches this world would tempt us to take for our own pleasure. Wisdom knows it is better to have your parents or God’s pleasure through obedience, than to have the temporary pleasures of sin with your parents and God’s disapproval.

Have you ever asked the question, “What gives parents the right to discipline their children?” Why should moms and dad, grandmas and grandpas be allowed to tell their children or grandchildren what is right and wrong and then correct them for breaking the rules?

> Is it just because they are the parents and the kids are the kids?

> Is it because parents made the rules?

> Is it because parents are bigger and stronger than their kids?

> Is it because parents find pleasure in making their kids’ lives miserable?

> Is it because parents have a biblical basis for correcting their kids? (Well just for the record parents do have the biblical authority to discipline their children.)

• Ephesians 6:1-4 (NLT)

[1] Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. [2] "Honor your father and mother." This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. [3] And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, "you will live a long life, full of blessing."

[4] And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.

Similarly, what gives God the right to discipline us?

> Is it because He is God?

> Is it because God made the rules?

> Is it because God is bigger and stronger than we are?

> Is it because God finds pleasure in making our lives miserable?

> Is it because God has a biblical authority to do so? (Biblical authority for God to discipline us is like saying God made the rules because the Bible is God’s word! Nevertheless, God does show us why He disciplines us.)

Solomon reveals the biblical authority for God to discipline us in Proverbs 3:12. Here is the single reason validating God’s discipline. Here to is the reason why the discipline and correction of parents for their children is valid as well.

• Proverbs 3:12 (NIV)

“The Lord disciplines those he loves.”


Mom and dad the single greatest reason you have for disciplining your kids is because you love them. Your goal is to protect your children from the consequences of a life of disobedience and sin.

Let’s be sure we understand the difference between discipline and punishment. These words are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

Punishment is the sentence or verdict handed out when the judgment of guilt is established. Punishment is the reprimand or the penalty imposed.

Discipline, includes a punishment goes a step further. Discipline seeks to correct, instruct or bring about a change in the behavior of the guilty. Furthermore, discipline will often require some type of restitution to acknowledge guilt for the offense. Sometimes it’s simply telling a brother or sister, “I’m sorry,” but the key is that discipline should cause the guilty to realize they have wronged someone else.


Sin is never just a personal matter. Sin is not just what you do; its what you have done to someone else. Sin not only disobedience to God; sin also violates the victim.

Let me be clear on this; parents should include spanking as part of disciplining their children; it is necessary to at times apply an occasional swat to the “seat of education.” The Bible says, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24 NIV), and “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15 NIV).

Now make the connection—love is the foundation and perquisite of discipline. Therefore, spanking our kids without love boarders on being abuse. The purpose of a spanking is not to inflict pain for poor behavior. A spanking is part of the instruction to teach children right from wrong. Don’t spank your kids unless you include loving instruction.

With love as a foundation and prerequisite for discipline we can uncover another reason why parents should discipline their children. And then we will also make the a similar connection with why God lovingly disciplines us.

PARENTS DISCIPLINE THEIR CHILDREN BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN DISCIPLINED. At one time or another we have all had “our hands caught in the cookie jar.” We are all guilty of the same basic sin—disobeying our parents. Some of us may argue as to whether we were disciplined, punished or even abused by our parents when we did something wrong, but the point is this: CONSEQUENCES FOLLOW OUR ACTIONS.

Because we have been disciplined by God and our parents, we as parents are qualified to discipline our children. Why? Because we love our children we want to protect them from experiencing the difficulty and problems that come from sin and rebellion. We have learned wisdom: the pleasure of sin is fleeting—it doesn’t last. We’ve gained wisdom and know it is better to live a life of obedience and righteousness than to gain all the wealth the world could offer.

Similarly God has the right to discipline us because Jesus took our punishment. We can’t really say Jesus was disciplined because discipline involves being corrected for sin committed and Jesus was sinless. However, Jesus did receive punishment for sin—not His sin, but ours.

Jesus can truly say, “This hurt me more than it will hurt you.” Jesus suffered bled and died in our place; He was not guilty, but willingly took the place of the guilty and bore the death sentence of sin. The Bible tells us “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The death penalty for sin will be painful; Jesus describes hell, the second death like this: “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48 NIV).

Yet how much greater is the pain of the death penalty for one who is innocent? The punishment for sin is just for the guilty, but how much greater is the agony of Jesus who bore our punishment? Jesus suffered more than anyone else could—the innocent died in the place of the guilty. And why did he do it? He took our punishment because He loves us!

Now don’t miss this—because Jesus suffered the ultimate penalty of sin, death upon the cross, God disciplines us so we won’t have to suffer the death penalty for our sin. God disciplines us because Jesus has experience the pain of death; God knows what it will cost us because Jesus experienced it for us. Therefore through loving discipline God wants to protect us from the ultimate consequence of sin—death.

How likely are you to despise the Lord’s discipline when you remember that?


• Proverbs 3:12 (NIV)

the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

If you only take one thing home with you today, then don’t miss that statement! Love is the foundation and prerequisite for discipline. If you remember the love—discipline connection then you will handle God’s discipline in your life better.

Key #8: The path to wisdom is not always easy; it sometimes goes through the hard places of discipline. Discipline leads to wisdom through instruction in righteousness. (Proverbs 3:11-18)

For the next couple of minutes I want us to consider two questions:

1. How does God discipline us?

2. How should we respond to the discipline of the Lord?

The answer to both of these questions is found in remembering the foundation of discipline is love. Love is the key to understanding discipline and remembering God’s love will motivate us to make the right response to His discipline in our lives.


1. How does God discipline us?

How would you answer that question? How has God disciplined you in your life?

Essentially there are four ways God will discipline us. (If you want to keep it simple you could say there are just two basic ways God will discipline us—the first two are connected to each other and the last two ways are also similar to each other. I just want to give you a broader understanding of how God will discipline you in your daily life.)

1. God will use His word, the Bible.

Do you have personal time to read God’s Word? Do you study God’s word with other believers? Are you regularly listening to the preaching of God’s word? Through your interaction with scripture God will speak to you personally with correction and instruction on how you should live your life.

God sees and knows how you are living; He knows your secret thoughts. He will discipline you for sin through His word.

• 2 Timothy. 3:16-17 (NIV)

[16] All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

• Psalm 119:33-34, 133 (NIV)

[33] Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. [34] Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart . . . [133] Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

2. God will discipline us through those in spiritual authority over us.

God will sometimes bring a specific word to us through a pastor or someone else who is in spiritual authority over our lives. None of us should live isolated from other believers, but should be connected to each other with accountability to one another.

• Ephesians 5:21 (NIV)

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

• Hebrews 13:17 (NLT)

Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

The Apostle Paul encouraged young preachers to do the work of the ministry to which God had called them. Part of that work included bringing rebuke and correction to those in the church with sin in their lives.

• 2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

• Titus 2:15 (NLT)

You must teach these things and encourage your people to do them, correcting them when necessary. You have the authority to do this, so don’t let anyone ignore you or disregard what you say.

3. God will discipline us through our finances.

Not every financial difficulty comes about as the discipline of God. Some financial hardships are our own making; you can’t escape the law of the harvest!

However, when you face difficulties within your finances you should ask God to show you if you have sinned. God will show your sin, and discipline will have God’s desired effect if your heart is open to God.

• Psalm 39:11 (NIV)

You rebuke and discipline men for their sin; you consume their wealth like a moth--each man is but a breath.

• Proverbs 13:18 (NIV)

He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.

4. God will discipline us through difficult circumstances and hardship.

• Hebrews 12:7 (NIV)

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

Like financial difficulty, not every hardship or problem in life is the discipline of God. However we are only fooling ourselves if we think we are never in need of a “spanking from the Lord.” The bible tells us plainly God will use the circumstances of our life as discipline. When difficulty comes we need to ask God to show us if there is sin in our lives.

• Psalm 119:71 (NIV)

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.

Sometimes our hardship comes as sickness and disease. Again, don’t think that every sickness means there is sin in a person’s life; that’s simply not true (See John 9:2-3) However, we are foolish to think God will not sometimes use sickness as loving discipline. Ask God to show you if there is sin in your life; He will show you.

• 1 Corinthians 11:30 (NLT)

That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.

• James 5:14-15 (NLT)

[14] Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. [15] And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.


2. How should we respond to the discipline of the Lord?

When God disciplines us we have a choice; we can either submit to His discipline or we can ignore God and do our own thing—just like kids do with their parents!

• Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV)

[11] My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, [12] because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Instead of being rebellious and turning a deaf ear to God’s discipline, we should response should have an open heart to learn wisdom from the Lord and change how we are living.

Remember we have described wisdom two ways: [1] wisdom is not just head knowledge; it is the right application of knowledge. Wisdom is doing and saying the right thing at the right time. [2] Wisdom is the mind of Christ revealed in our lives. Jesus will communicate God’s will for specific situations for daily living. We don’t have to try to make it on our own; God makes His plan and purpose knows to us so we know how to live.

When our heart are open to God, then we can learn wisdom through discipline to live our lives in such a way to bring honor and glory to God instead of living to please ourselves.

Jesus shows us how we should respond to the discipline of the Lord.

• Revelation 3:19 (NIV)

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

Let’s not miss the obvious. GOD DISCIPLINES US BECAUSE WE ARE LIVING IN SIN. God does not discipline or correct us for obedience but for disobedience. Therefore the key to gaining wisdom through discipline is through repentance—to ask God to forgive your sin and help you to change the way you’re living.

The Holy Spirit will show us when there is sin in our lives. We will either respond with repentance, or our hearts will grow calloused to the voice of the Spirit. When we ignore the Holy Spirit God will bring discipline into our lives. He wants us to stop sinning and live a holy and righteous life.

We need to ask God to show us when we have sinned and not let our hearts be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. If God is bringing discipline into your life through His Word, through a pastor or other spiritual authority, if God is using financial difficulty or other hardships and difficulty in your life as discipline then ask God to open your heart to His Spirit and reveal your sin. Then repent. God is ready and willing to forgive our sin and to help us live a righteous life if only we will ask.