21 For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23 For lack of discipline they will die,
led astray by their own great folly. ~ Prov. 5:21-23
I don’t know about you, but I’m not very disciplined; or, at least, discipline comes very hard to me. I’m watching Netflix at night, engrossed in a new show, and I know my boys will be up at 5:30. Wisdom says, “get to bed sooner rather than later.” Invariably, though, I stay up and regret my decision the next morning. In a world where so much is right at my fingertips, where I can satisfy just about any desire or felt need whenever I want, my heart and mind are inclined to the path of least resistance – to instant gratification – and resistant to wise discipline.
But the author of Proverbs warns us that lack of discipline will lead to our demise, will be the opposite of what God wants for us, our shalom. While it may be easier for us to determine our own paths and satisfy every desire of our hearts on our own terms, the deeper reality is, God’s ways – and the discipline that is required to know and follow those ways – are the only means by which true joy and flourishing take root in our lives.
Father, may you give us the wisdom and strength necessary to be discipline in your ways, to follow the paths that you lead us down. Continually give us insight into how discipline in following you brings true joy, especially when we’re tempted to determine our own ways apart from you. May you give us life to the fullest as we chase after you. Amen.