“A lover of discipline is a lover of knowledge,” states Solomon, “but a hater of reproof is unreasoning.” (Proverbs 12:1) Eager to make personal improvement, a good man craves discipline. He is quick to apply the counsel he receives at Christian meetings or in personal conversations. The words in the Scriptures and in Bible-based publications are like oxgoads that prod him to follow an upright course. He seeks out
knowledge and uses it to make his paths straight. Yes, a lover of discipline is also a lover of knowledge.
How necessary discipline is to true worshipers—particularly self-discipline! We can wish that we had a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We may desire to be more effective in the Christian ministry and to be better teachers of God’s Word. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20) But it takes self-discipline to make such wishes a reality. Self-discipline is also needed in other areas of life. For example, material designed to arouse illicit desires is plentiful today. Does it not call for self-discipline to restrain the eye from focusing on improper sights? Moreover, since “the inclination of the heart of man is bad from his youth up,” an immoral thought can indeed originate in the recesses of the mind. (Genesis 8:21) Self-discipline is needed in order not to dwell upon such a thought.
The hater of reproof, on the other hand, loves neither discipline nor knowledge. Yielding to the sinful human tendency to resent reproof, he degrades himself to the level of an unreasoning animal—a brute—lacking moral discrimination. We must firmly resist this inclination.