Choosing The Right Path
Read Proverbs Chapter 13
Pr 13:18 He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.
Yesterday’s thoughts are a great lead-in to today’s scripture passage. The subject yesterday led us to discover that we must be making some effort, have some desire, to be done with our same-sex actions. We cannot accomplish that alone; it can only come about as God does the purging and cleansing and as we cooperate with Him during the process. Today’s verse reminds us of one of the ways He works that out in our lives. He disciplines and corrects us, the same way the ideal parent guides his child in the right pathway.
From my many years of experience, let me give you some idea of how He works. God’s hand in my life has been evident from the beginning. He has been disciplining and correcting me for as long as I can remember. For some segments of my life, I chose to listen to His Spirit as He gave me His instructions. At other times in my life, I stubbornly refused to listen to Him. There were times when the loud call of same-sex desires blocked out His voice. My life has been a continual battle between the forces of God and our enemy. Sometimes I listened to God and other times I did not. I’ll wager that you can identify with that assessment of how your spiritual life has operated.
That was another long introduction to bring us to a short lesson. During the times when I chose to listen to the Holy Spirit, I felt the shame mentioned in this Proverb. I felt it within my soul; it reduced me to a world of introversion and isolation. I walked in a world of darkness, trying to hide who I was. There was a part of me that I could not share with others, a part that I could not bring into the light. If there had been a powerful Christian brother whom I would have allowed to “correct” me, maybe I wouldn’t have waited so long to turn my life over to the Lord. Then again, maybe I would have “ignored” that person.
The poverty that I experienced was poverty of the soul, a lack of joy and peace. There was a spiritual bankruptcy which pervaded my entire being. Additionally, there was no honor to be found, anywhere in my being.
On the other hand, during my periods of obeying God’s instructions, there was within myself a sense of honor; a measure of peace and comfort. There was honor within the soul and spirit, and within the community of believers as well. Today, my Christian brothers and sisters treat me with great respect. Their acceptance of me is something that I don’t take lightly, for do I deserve it. Yet, it is there because I finally quit ignoring discipline and I have heeded correction. They have been willing to understand and forgive me of the times when I failed to heed the discipline and correction from the Lord. I prize that honor, and do not want to disappoint them in the future.
As I tell of how God has worked in my life, I want you to understand that God works differently in the life of every believer. For example, some of you may not have heard the calling of God on your life until much later than I did. That’s okay. He begins His work in some lives at a very early age, and waits until later for others. The only thing that matters is that right now, at this moment, He is at work in your heart. He has uniquely chosen to reveal Himself to you at just the right time, when you were ready to listen.
He will continue to discipline and correct us for the remainder of our lives. He will continue to send others into our lives to be an arm of His discipline and correction. Let us not ignore His or their disciplines, and let us heed His and their corrections.
Prayer: Thank You for revealing Yourself to each of us. As we experience your discipline and correction, give us the desire and ability to listen to Your voice, and heed Your instruction. Forgive us of the times when we fail to do so. Your love and mercy are incredibly awesome, and we thank You for them!