This wise saying compares physical discipline for three different entities – a horse, a donkey and a fool. It’s a unique comparison, but definitely make the point.
There are three different mediums of discipline here – a whip, a bridle and a rod. Each sounds like punishment.
But I want to suggest this is actually more about discipline than punishment. It’s all about each one being “motivated” to do what they’re supposed to do.
Discipline, by definition, is not punishment. The English words “discipline” and “disciple” come from the same Latin root relating to education, training, learning or following.
Here in Baltimore, “The Ravens Way” is a form of discipline that guys choose to follow – if they want to be on the Ravens football team, if they want to play in NFL games and if they want to get paid! Admittedly, some players might feel like practice is punishment, but it’s actually for their own good.
So, in order to do what we should, we need to get comfortable with the fact that God and others will do what it takes to get our attention to help us do the next right thing.
In truth, most of us learn our greatest lessons when under the greatest stress. That’s what discipline’s all about. It’s designed to help us do what we need to do and to make us better people.
Hopefully, in the end, we will be able to appreciate the process!