The wooden spoon: a friend

Proverbs 23:12-14


Pay close attention to the teaching that corrects you,

   and open your heart to every word of instruction.

13 Don’t withhold appropriate discipline from your child.

   Go ahead and punish him when he needs it.

   Don’t worry—it won’t kill him!

14 A good spanking could be the very thing

   that teaches him a lifelong lesson! (OR… Rescues him from death.)


Who, out of all the billions of beautiful faces living on this masterpiece of a planet, welcomes discipline or correction like a long-lost friend? Yup, just as I thought… No one. It’s yucky. Especially when our pride is soaring high and all we want to be is Right!


I remember times of tears and tantrums. When the wooden spoon was my enemy and I dreaded its visit – when it came out to play, boy, was it anything but fun!


Yet, as I think back on those times, and there were many, I’m grateful for them. Why? Because without them, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. So, if I can sit and appreciate the discipline received from my earthly father, who just like me, is a person flawed by sin, I have to ask myself the question:


How much more valuable the discipline from Heaven?


And here’s the truth, when I’m honest with myself, I’ve never stopped needing the correction. Though many years have rolled on since the wooden spoon days, my sinful nature still insists on waging war even though I’m a new creation because of Christ. I still make decisions and choose to act in ways that only lead to destruction. To death…


There is a difference though, a tender one… one that I need to remind myself of often – the discipline I now receive comes straight from the throne room of Heaven, where a perfect Father – righteous and holy – corrects me rather than punishes me. My punishment now falls on the gracious shoulders of Christ, and in love, I receive correction for my waywardness that I stubbornly choose to persist in. I no longer need to dread the moment … because I know it comes from a good God… for my good. It’s the way that God reminds me to clothe myself in the nature of Christ rather than my own.




In light of this revelation, I wonder if you would join me in applying what this Proverb charges us to do – pay close attention and open our hearts to the correction of the Lord… Because maybe, just maybe, all we need is that good “discipline” that will actually rescue us from the pathways of death that we keep choosing and see that, by embracing correction from God, we find life and fields of freedom like we’ve never know before!

My child, don’t underestimate the value

   of the discipline and training of the Lord God,

   or get depressed when he has to correct you.

6 For the Lord’s training of your life

   is the evidence of his faithful love.

   And when he draws you to himself,

   it proves you are his delightful child.”

7 Fully embrace God’s correction as part of your training, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children.

Hebrews 12:5-7

Lauren Hollenbach




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