Message: In Proverbs 12 there is a lot of compare and contrast bits of truth between the wise and the foolish, the diligent and the lazy, telling lies and speaking truth, righteous and wicked, life and death. The very first verse tells us that whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but one who hates correction is stupid. I had to laugh as I wondered to myself “who actually loves discipline?” I love the results that discipline brings to my life, therefore I have learned to fight through the dislike of applying discipline, and I have to admit, I enjoy the freedom that discipline has brought to my life as a result. As I read through all of these, I realized that all of these contrasting topics present an “easy way” vs a “hard way” but the end of each choice produces the opposite effect. If I lie about something, it spares me a hard conversation up front, but then I bear the burden of concealing the truth and getting caught. Being foolish with my words is easier than controlling them in a moment of heated emotion, but the cost of releasing those words can damage relationships and opportunities that take a long time to repair because although you can certainly apologize, you can’t simply take it back. Eating whatever I want is enjoyable in the moment but trying to control weight and restore health later on is hard work! The next one has always blown my mind. Scheming and living corruptly versus working an honest wage. Though it’s true that you can often make a lot more money by scheming and making money corruptly, there is a constant unrest of not knowing who to trust, hiding, plotting, living with suspicion, silencing people who might blow cover and plotting the next scheme. The amount of time, energy, unrest and plotting that it would consume of your life to keep that going is unbelievable and I just can’t help but wonder how much better it would be to work this hard honestly and this creatively and be at peace with what you earn. There really are no shortcuts because you will either pay the price of diligence and discipline up front, or you will choose what you believe to be the easy path and pay for it on the back end.