Skip to main content

Take aim - plan well

To love learning is to embrace discipline - for apart from living a disciplined life, learning can never occur.  To "learn" means we will gain knowledge, understanding of something, or to gain a skill.   It comes by study, instruction, and experience.  Some might call this "coming to realize" - to hear and then come to really know.  Either way you look at it, it comes by discipline.  No lesson is easily embraced if there is a fear or hatred of discipline.  If we recognize our heavenly Father's discipline is ALWAYS done in love, we will no longer fear it, but embrace it as a way of being embraced by love.

If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—how shortsighted to refuse correction!  A good person basks in the delight of God, and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.  You can’t find firm footing in a swamp, but life rooted in God stands firm...  The thinking of principled people makes for justice; the plots of degenerates corrupt. The words of the wicked kill; the speech of the upright saves. Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them; the homes of good people hold together.  (Proverbs 12:1-3, 5-7 MSG)

A good person basks in the delight of the Lord - in other words, God approves of the good, but he withdraws from the wicked.  The word approve really carries the meaning of "proving", "attesting to", and "accepting as satisfactory".  So, when God approves and takes delight in us, he is really saying we have stood the test and been "proven" to have the right stuff!  In fact, he "attests to" our standing with him - through the evidence of his Son's light shining through us.  Wickedness never brings stability into our lives - so this is why God requires us to learn through discipline.  He wants us to be stable people - deeply rooted.  Stability is the strength to stand or endure.  It comes from being firmly established - fixed and steadfast in our convictions, with actions which align with those convictions.  When there is a steadiness in our purpose, there is a strength displayed even in the face of trial.  What God is doing through his discipline in our lives is making us able to resist the forces of evil around us - those things which pull at our heart and seek to sway us in our convictions.

The just have a way of thinking which differs from the world's way of thinking. It is the "plans" which differ between the just and the wicked.  The just have learned through disciplined application of truth - this embraced knowledge goes into the plans of the just.  The details which are formulated in the minds and hearts of the just are tempered by the embraced grace of God in their lives.  They have faced tough circumstances, made wrong choices, but have been extended grace to learn from those choices.  In turn, they have embraced grace and and it affects the plans they formulate for future actions. A "just" person is really one who has learned "reasonableness" in their lives. There is a commitment to live uprightly - in turn, it affects every action.

As has been the case all through this book of Proverbs, we are set up to see comparisons:  Good vs. Bad, Just vs. Unjust, Learned vs. Fool, etc.  This chapter is no different.  The first section of this chapter deals with the differences between those who will commit to live "principled" lives against those who will live life constantly moving the target.  Principled people have but one target in mind - they remain focused and the target doesn't move.  It doesn't move because it is a "fixed" target - the character of Christ.  The ungodly or "unprincipled" have multiple targets, making it difficult to aim at anything.  Plans are goals - it is to "aim" at something.  Remember my illustration of the target with its concentric circles culminating in a totally filled in circle in the middle.  Just (principled) lives want to live "filled in" lives.  We want to hit "dead center" every time.

The short-sighted don't see the target - their minds and hearts are focused on something entirely "short" of the target.  This makes them "fools" in God's eyes, because only the fool will aim at nothing!  I like the verse in this passage about finding firm footing - it isn't available in the swamp!  The fool has a way of finding themselves "swamped" because of their poor planning. The wise have learned the incredibly liberating joy of planning well - taking lessons from their experience, incorporating them into the pre-planning for their next opportunities, and then waiting until they have "aligned" their target in their "sights" before they actually launch toward the target!  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean

Doubt isn't a bad thing

I would like for you to consider for a moment what this journalist was attempting to share in his words: " Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow ." (Ambrose Bierce) Have you ever doubted? Then it is suggested you were at least at the place of some form of belief. Have you ever considered what your doubt was attempting to reveal to you? Perhaps doubt is not a bad thing because it points us to consider the truth of a matter. Where doubt is - - - there truth is. It may be in the shadows, but it is there! We need only look a little closer and we will find truth has never been far from us.  The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate dow