Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 28:14
"How blessed is the man who fears always, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity."
This is an interesting connection with submission, rebellion, and disaster. The idea seems to be that those who realize there is always a higher authority over them or accountability they must answer to – and in most cases multiple higher authorities – those types of people will be blessed and continue to enjoy the life that God has allotted to them. On the other hand, those who harden their hearts and begin believing that there is no higher authority than themselves will regularly experience disaster and difficulty.
To harden your heart is to no longer take counsel; to no longer believe that others have anything to contribute to you. It also seems to mean from this proverb that you no longer believe that anyone is over you and can check you or inspect your work.
God wants us to always realize that He is inspecting everything we do. Accountability is crucial to a job well done. If what we do can pass the muster of inspection and accountability of others – and especially God – then it will not lead to disastrous shortcuts.
To be a good parent is to press the idea of accountability deep into our children. It means that we must not just give them assignments but also inspect them when they are done. It also means that we will consistently talk to them about God's evaluation of our lives at the end of life. It seems that as our society has gotten away from the clear truth that God will evaluate our lives at their conclusion, people have run riot with their morals and we have lurched from one calamity to another. When we are no longer willing to acknowledge God or any higher authority, we will fall into difficulties.
When children realize that parents will keep them accountable, they do not become lazy and hardened in their attitude. It is the hardened attitude that causes the discipline to come in strong forms. It is also the lazy work habits that cause their parents to be angry.