Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 20:30
"Stripes that wound scour away evil, and strokes reach the innermost parts"
Solomon is here talking about how to change the heart or soul of a person from wanting to do evil. Remember that evil is that which harms others in order for you to gain. This is marked by the Ten Commandments. For the person who wants to be evil because they can see all the benefit to them, they must be strongly discouraged by the personal cost. The harm that they would do to others must become painfully and personally aware to themselves. Solomon is saying that parents and authorities must take action to bring personal costs to the person who would perpetrate evil against another or the behavior will not stop. We live in a day and age in which this type of personal responsibility-based discipline is not looked on with favor. But these systems of strong personal consequences for evil have worked for over 3,000 years. The new systems of trying to talk people out of evil or give them timeouts to think about what they have done is clearly not working.
It is important that we do not overuse what Solomon says and get involved with cruel punishments. Instead, the goal is rehabilitation of the person who desires to do harm to another for personal gain. This must be stopped. It must not just be held back, but the soul of the person must be changed. Solomon is saying that appropriate but significant punishments for giving into the temptation for personal gain at the expense of another will change the heart of a child and even the adult.
There must be a direct correlation in the mind of the person who committed evil between the harm that they would cause others and the harm that comes to them. Society today, in avoiding the biblical truth that every person has a sin nature, wants to believe that every person is good. While it is true that every person has been created in God's image and retains the ability to do good at times, there is also this other issue within them called selfishness and sin. This principle must be noticed and dealt with early, and sometimes often, until the young person realizes that society will not tolerate a selfish child for evil will surely follow.
Unfortunately our "enlightened" guru's of modern life have begun to favor the selfish child as the pinnacle of development. Their desire to eliminate any forms of discipline that could in any way be or become abuse has morphed into a willingness to embrace any desire that comes out of the mind and heart of a child. This will surely bankrupt our society for no one will be involved in the public good as over against their own gain. It will not be long before our society will be thoroughly and completely corrupt, lawless, and dangerous because selfishness has become a virtue.