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Let's get this right ALL of the time

Those who spend their lives teaching will tell us the ability to learn a subject is directly influenced by our specific desire to learn that subject - if we don't find the subject interesting or useful, we often discount the learning opportunity, making it more difficult to ever get much from what is being taught. We often miss out on some of the most profound (yet insanely simple) lessons in life simply because we don't want to take the time or energy to apply ourselves to that learning. There are also times when we feel that we don't "need" to learn the lesson being offered - seeing ourselves as above the lesson - already having knowledge about a particular subject and feeling as though we didn't need to learn anything else. Both scenarios are dangerous ground to tread, for learning happens only when hearts are open.

If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it— how shortsighted to refuse correction!  (Proverbs 12:1)

It is shortsighted to refuse correction - for correction is basically the opportunity to begin a new lesson in life - an opportunity to learn. Did you ever consider that "correction" is directly tied to "learning"? Think of it - you do a series of math problems, turn in your paper, get it back "graded", observing that there are "red marks" on those problems that you did not get "right". If you go through math class refusing to change the way you solve the problem, you will never get a "passing grade" in math. In fact, you will probably never graduate! That "red mark" is designed by the teacher to point out where you needed to focus some attention in order to avoid making the same "error" over and over again.

Think of God's discipline as the similar to that type of "red mark" - it is designed to focus our attention on the areas of our lives where we need to make some changes in how we are doing things. The purpose is not to humiliate or frustrate us, but to help us move into a place of understanding - to come to a revelation of how things have been going and the things that need to change in order to get on the right track again. The goal is that we "graduate" from doing things our own way into learning the value of doing things God's way. In so doing, we develop a consistency of getting "right answers" each and every time (as important in 'real life' as it is in math class). Disciplined living is evident when we see a heart that is consistently looking for insight into right choices. I always challenged my math teachers by asking why "my answer" was wrong - citing that if I got the right answer, why was the method I used to determine that answer necessarily wrong. The reply was always the same (no matter the teacher). It was simply that I would not "consistently" get the right answer if I did not use the proper method to solve the problem each and every time. It was the consistency that was lacking - not the wherewithal to solve the problem 'this time'.

The same is true in daily living - we can arrive at the same answer today that we got yesterday by using the same principles we applied yesterday. But...will those same principles applied a year from now produce the exact same answers? Probably not! Why? Simply put - things change! We need to grow, so the problems become a little more complex as we grow. Just as in math class, we moved from simple addition (2+2=4) into more complex problems like solving for "x" in an algebraic equation. What I learned in basic math and simple addition lent itself to solving the algebraic equation, but I needed more complex thought processes to solve the latter - and I needed even more completion of learning to understand trigonometry. I needed to "grow" in order to see the new concepts of algebra or trig, or I'd never solve the problems consistently. In daily life, there will always be a growth opportunity that comes with two choices - remain bull-headed and stubbornly rooted in the past ways of doing things, or yielding to the possibility that there is something new to be learned in the present. The disciplined life will embrace the learning with the desire to build insight into how to consistently arrive at the right choice each and every time we are faced with whatever life hands to us as the 'present problem'. Just sayin!

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