Proverbs- Session 10- 29:1-3, 12-20

Lesson Resources:


Subject: Discipline

Central Theme:  Embracing Discipline

We should embrace discipline in our lives because of three patterns that are made clear in Proverbs 29:1-3, 12-20.

Pattern #1- Leadership and discipline.

Pattern #2- Discipline and blessing.

Pattern #3- Rebellion and destruction.




  • Discussion question: Describe a circumstance from elementary school where you got into a lot of trouble.  What did you do and what was the discipline?
  • Discussion question: What kind of discipline did you dislike the most?


  • Discipline is an interesting thing.
  • Although none of us love discipline, the Bible says so much about it.
  • This week’s lesson will cover Proverbs 29:1-3, and 12-20.
  • The theme of these verses is the nature of discipline.
  • When we think about discipline we do not usually think about freedom, blessing, and the like.
  • Yet, all real freedom comes as a result of discipline at some level.
  • Discipline is not necessarily a popular thing in our culture, and yet the writer of Proverbs makes it clear that discipline is embraced by the wise and it brings about things in our lives that we need.
  • If we are going to thrive and be wise we must embrace wisdom at every level.
  • Why should we embrace discipline?

We should embrace discipline in our lives because of three patterns that are made clear in Proverbs 29:1-3, 12-20.

Pattern #1- Leadership and discipline. V.2-3, 12, 14, 19


  • In today’s verses we see several patterns. The first is a pattern of leadership and discipline.
  • In verse 2 and 3 we see the positive effects of discipline leaders, and we see the negative effects of leadership that is not disciplined.
  • Verse 2 states that when the righteous, those who are disciplined, are in authority, the people rejoice.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: (v.2a)

  • Leaders who lead righteously bring about outcomes that their followers desire.
  • Verse 3 states that when a father leads his son in such a way that the son embraces discipline and loves wisdom, it makes the father happy, and their relationship is good.

(3)  Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: (v.3a)


  • These verses also speak to a lack of discipline.

…but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.  (v.2b)


  • In verse 2 it says that when the wicked are in authority, it brings about horrible outcomes for their followers.
  • In verse 3 you see that when the child does not embrace wisdom, it costs both father and son.

but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.


  • Verse 12 displays more of the effects of undisciplined, unrighteous leading.

Proverbs 29:12  If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

  • When a leader embraces lies, and lacks the discipline to see out the truth, it produces undisciplined followers and undisciplined environments.
  • In these three verses you have thriving and you have suffering.
    • The leaders who lead rightly find a pattern of blessing, while the leaders who lead in an undisciplined way suffer along with their people.
  • In these two verses we see leadership in the home and in the society at large.  The common denominator is discipline.
  • There is both a leadership that is disciplined and righteous, and a leadership without discipline.
  • What kind of leadership are you providing in your home, in the marketplace, in the community, and in your church? Are you a disciplined person?
  • Leaders set the tone.  They set the example.
  • The theme of leadership and discipline continues.
  • In verse 14 we see the responsibility of leadership to appropriately mediate over the circumstances of the poor.

Proverbs 29:14  The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

  • Dealing with those in poverty justly can be difficult.
    • On the one hand those who have little have been overlooked and abandoned historically because they have little to offer.  It has been easy for leaders to take advantage of the poor because their lack of resources makes it difficult for them to defend or represent themselves well.
    • On the other hand, those in poverty have been counted as virtuous because of their need.  Their difficult situation has tempted leaders overlook justice.
    • Proverbs states here that the one that is faithful in their ability to act justly will have a durable tenure.
    • Leaders who have the discipline to judge faithfully, and meet out discipline justly to the most vulnerable, will have a leadership that is well established.
    • That kind of leader is likely to have favor with God and man.
  • In verse 19 we see a principle about leadership and discipline that is very practical.

Proverbs 29:19  A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

  • If the only “tools” in the leader’s “toolbox” are words, the actions required for success may very well go undone.
  • Words must be followed up with action.
  • There is an old saying that goes something like, “People do not always do what you expect.  They do what you inspect.”
  • Many times we are obedient to do what we are told, but we are more likely to do what we are told if we know that we will be held accountable to do it at some point.
  • There are some times where people are not motivated by inspiration, but rather by discomfort.
  • It is the job of the leader to point out the discomfort of a lack of discipline.
  • Discipline at that level must be in his toolbox if the group he leads is to succeed.



The connection between leadership and discipline is clear.  Here are two principles:

  1. The effective and faithful leader is self-disciplined.
  2. The effective and faithful leader must lead people to self-discipline.


  • Do you see self-discipline as bondage or freedom?
  • Where do you need to grow in your own self-discipline?
  • How can you “lean-in” to those who lead you when it comes to accountability?

Pattern #1- Leadership and discipline.

Pattern #2- Discipline and blessing. V. 15, 17, 18


  • Good leaders are self-disciplined and they bring discipline to those in their stewardship.
  • This leads us to a second pattern that we will see in this passage.  There is a pattern of discipline and blessing seen here.
  • The right kind of discipline brings freedom and not bondage.  Let’s look at discipline and blessing in these three verses.
  • In verse 15 there is a connection between discipline and the blessing of wisdom.

Proverbs 29:15  The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.


  • Here there are two “tools” of discipline- the rod and reproof.
    • The rod was an implement of corporal punishment.  It was a “paddle”.
    • The Bible nowhere advocates child abuse.
    • A small amount of pain, judiciously administered by a loving parent with the right heart attitude and the appropriate teaching (reproof), will bring about wisdom in the child over time.
    • If you only use words and not action, the child will ignore you.
    • Remember, “a servant will not be corrected by words” (v.19).
    • If you use only the rod and not words, the child will begin to resent you because there is no love expressed.  There will be confusion.
    • But action-oriented discipline is powerful and effective when it is administered with the right reproof.
    • The result is a wise child.
    • Discipline brings blessing.
  • Verse 17 is similar.

Proverbs 29:17  Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

  • When a child is corrected through loving discipline it certainly takes effort.
  • The result over time is a child that is self-disciplined and focused on others.
  • This kind of child begins to honor and bless their parents.
  • Again, discipline brings blessing.
  • Verse 18 has two contrasting sections.  We will look at the first part later.  Pay attention to that second part.

but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (v18b)

  • The person that keeps the law revealed by God and meted out by the leader experiences happiness.
  • There is a freedom in self-discipline. 
  • There is an avoidance of pain and heartache when we do right.
  • Discipline brings blessing.


  • We didn’t abandon the first pattern for this second pattern.
  • These verses have leaders that administer discipline, but notice that second pattern.  Discipline brings about blessing.
  • Proverbs makes it clear that the parent that does not correct or discipline their child hates that child.
  • Even if they have an affection for the child, the lack of discipline brings about the same result as the child whose parents have no affection for them.
  • The pattern is clear.  Loving leaders are self-disciplined and implement discipline because it brings about blessing.
  • Even if you are not a parent the principle applies.  When we are disciplined it brings blessing.


  • Parents, are you action oriented in the way you parent your child?  Do you correct your kids?  Are you loving in your approach to discipline?
  • Where have you experienced blessing that was the result of discipline in your life?
  • Is there an area of your life that you are finding difficulty because of a lack of discipline?


Pattern #1- Leadership and discipline.

Pattern #2- Discipline and blessing.

Pattern #3- Rebellion and destruction. V. 9, 16, 18, 20


  • There is a third pattern that we see in this passage that I want to observe.
    • We have already seen the pattern of leadership and discipline.
    • We have also seen the pattern of discipline and blessing.
    • I want us to observe the pattern of rebellion and destruction.
  • In verse 1 we see a person in desperate need of correction.

Proverbs 29:1  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.


  • The leader is administering correction regularly.  He is “oft reproved”.
  • But in this verse the person is described as someone that “hardeneth his neck”.
  • This is someone who is being stubborn to those in authority over them.
  • It speaks of rebellion.
    • Imagine the teenager with folded arms, slouched in the chair, rolling their eyes while saying, “I’m never doing that.”  This is not the only iteration of this kind of person, but the example fleshes out the attitude.
  • The ultimate end of an unteachable, stubborn person is that there will be the kind of destruction that cannot be fixed.
  • There are choices that are made by rebellious, undisciplined people that cannot be undone.  There is a warning in this verse that rebellion leads to destruction.
  • Verse 16 is similar.

Proverbs 29:16  When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

  • A lack of discipline in one life can affect a lack of discipline in many other lives.
  • We influence each other.
  • Notice the pattern in the verse.  The growth in the number of wicked people in a culture leads to more transgression, which leads to destruction viewed by those who are doing the right thing.
  • This seems painfully relevant today.
  • Discipline brings blessing, and rebellion leads to destruction.


  • A rebellious person is not teachable.  They do not take correction.  They never think they are wrong. The natural result is to walk right into the consequences of their foolishness.
  • The answer that one must employ if this is the case in their life is repentance.  There must be a change of heart and change of mind about their attitude and response.  Their must be a plea for forgiveness and a change of direction.


  • Is there an area of your life where you have become unteachable?  Repentance is the right response!
  • In the first part of verse 18 we see an oft quoted statement.

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

  • The word translated “vision” hear is speaking about revelation from God.
  • Where there is no special revelation from God present the result is death.
  • Why would there be no revelation from God?
    • In one sense it may be an evangelism problem.  The Word of God has not been taken to a group of people.
    • In another sense it may be a leadership problem.
      • There may be no Word of God because it is not being proclaimed by leaders.
      • If it is not being proclaimed then it is not being obeyed.  When revelation from God is ignored and disobeyed the result is death.
      • Rebellion leads to destruction.
    • As we move on to verse 20 notice something interesting.
    • The man discussed in verse 20 is not called a fool.

Proverbs 29:20

Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

  • Even a wise person who is speaks too quickly will come to the same result as the fool.
  • The book of Proverbs consistently describes the results of the fool as destruction.  So we don’t want to have the same amount of hope as the fool.
  • How do we speak to quickly?
    • We speak before we have thought through a matter biblically.
    • We speak before we bathe a matter in prayer.
    • We speak before we have all of the information that is needed to give an answer.
    • In this there is disobedience and maybe even rebellion.  Both have consequences. Rebellion leads to destruction.


  • Our thinking, speaking and acting must be informed by the wisdom contained in the Word of God.
  • Our actions must be borne out of a life of prayer.
  • The opposite of rebellion is submission.  Discipline is the consistent submission of our hearts and lives to the God who created us and redeemed us.
  • We who know Christ as our Savior have been bought twice, and so we must embrace a life of discipline as a reasonable response to His grace.
  • There is a pattern of leadership and discipline, discipline and blessing, and rebellion and destruction.  Make the decision to embrace discipline!


  • How is your living and leadership being informed and affected by God’s revelation in His Word?
  • Think about the last 24 hours.  Have you been disciplined in your words?  Are you speaking hastily?


We should embrace discipline in our lives because of three patterns that are made clear in Proverbs 29:1-3, 12-20.

Pattern #1- Leadership and discipline.

Pattern #2- Discipline and blessing.

Pattern #3- Rebellion and destruction.


Proverbs- Session 10- Structural Outline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.