When we talk about discipline and correction, we’re usually referencing public schooling and parenting tactics–in short, how we raise our kids. But this verse of Proverbs has no such age restriction: this is meant for ALL people, young and old. No matter how old we get, God is still shaping us, sculpting us through the people and events He brings into our lives.
This is a hard verse to read, especially the bit about “hating correction,” because I’m a perfectionist and hate to admit I need correction–correction means I’ve failed. After all, adulthood is often championed as the time in our lives when we finally have everything together, when we are self-sufficient and wise and don’t need anybody to correct us. But here, we see that we cannot invest ourselves with so much importance (read: pride) as to disregard God altogether. Divine discipline (both punishment and training) brings us knowledge and wisdom we can never possess on our own, and divine correction, even as humiliating as it can be sometimes, brings us closer to God when we finally allow Him to work in us. (Found that out during my ill-fated teaching career, LOL)
This verse forces us to think: “What is God trying to correct in me? What is He training me for?” These are important and powerful questions for any point in a Christian’s life–in fact, they can be daily questions!