OYB April 23

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Judges 1, Judges 2:1-9
NT: Luke 21:29-38, Luke 22:1-13
Ps: Psalm 90-91
Pr: Proverbs 13:24-25

Today´s notable verse:

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Psalm 91:9-12 (NIV)

It is true that in this life we will face many hardships, but we have this assurance: that God will command His angels concerning us, to guard us in all our ways and to lift us up in their hands. How reassuring to know that God protects and ministers to us through the Host of Heaven!

The One Year Bible Blog notes:

Proverbs 13:24 is true - "If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don't love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them." The one thing that makes me a bit nervous about this Proverb is that I have a hunch us humans can over-do our discipline. I think there is obviously a difference between loving / godly discipline of our kids and mean / destructive discipline. I pray that we are led by God to know the difference. Yes, discipline is good. Godly / loving discipline. Mean / destructive discipline is not good.

I think the key here is that "discipline" and "punishment" are not interchangeable here. Certainly, discipline includes administering punishment as part of the learning experience that all decisions and actions have consequences; however, discipline also involves positive-reinforcement methods of training. Consider the full definition of discipline (v.):

  1. 1. To train by instruction and practice, especially to teach self-control to.
  2. To teach to obey rules or accept authority. See Synonyms at teach.
  3. To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience. See Synonyms at punish.
  4. To impose order on: needed to discipline their study habits.

Clearly, over-emphasis of only a part of the full meaning of discipline is improper. Also, emphasis on the various methods of discipline will change with the age and maturity/development of the one being disciplined. I was spanked as a young child, but because my parents understood and practiced the full and proper understanding of discipline, by the time I was an adolescent I no longer needed spanking as a form of discipline.

Further, note here the underlying assumption that discipline is administered out of love. Punishment meted out in anger is not loving, biblical discipline.