Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 3:11
"My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof."
It seems clear that this great proverb is written from the perspective of being disciplined by the Lord; being stretched and pushed beyond where you are.
The verses make so much more sense within that context:
Do not let lovingkindness and truth leave you
Trust in the Lord
Do not lean on your own understanding
In all your ways know Him
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil
Honor the Lord from the first of your wealth
Do not reject the discipline of the Lord
All of the above things that we are tempted not to do when it seems, from the outside perspective, that God no longer loves us or has forgotten us or is against us. This is when we must redouble our trust in the Lord and our expression of love to others.
In the midst of the lean times, there must be a growing favor with God and man. God is seeking to make you wiser; to be able to handle what is coming. Trust Him and stop only evaluating what is happening through the lens of your own wisdom and knowledge. God sees a much bigger canvas than you do.
do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe his reproof
The discipline of the Lord or the instruction of the Lord or the rebukes of the Lord are those places where God brings us up short; where He spanks us with problems. He is trying to get us to stop moving in the direction that we are going. Instead of getting mad when God says, “No, that is not the direction I want you to go,” we should see this as a fresh evidence of His love. Also it is fresh evidence of His existence and involvement in our lives.
God wants us to be willing to see Him as supreme director and controller of our lives and to embrace that truth and allow our trust of Him and our love for Him to totally adjust our way of thinking and living.
Look at Deuteronomy 8:3, "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord."
When we follow the dictates of this proverb, we see in the problems and difficulties a message from the Lord. We examine whether our problems, difficulties, and obstacles are chastisements from God because we have violated the principles and commands that He has given us.
Now it is important to say that not every problem you have is a message from God. But God has structured the universe so that when we violate his law, there are consequences just as when we push too hard on particular natural laws, we tip over or break a bone or fall or receive a shock. These consequences in the natural world are referred to as reproofs in the relational and spiritual world.
We are not accustomed to thinking this way but think this through. When I am rude to another person, the consequence is often that the person is cold toward me. If I only talk about and constantly boast about myself, then people will not want to be around me. God is constantly sending me feedback about how I am doing in my relationships and in my life. We just regularly push back on His feedback. We only want to hear that we are doing fine, even if we aren’t. Remember that God loves us and He will discipline us because He loves us. This means that He will allow us to receive negative feedback.