dis·ci·pline[dis-uh-plin] noun; verb, dis·ci·plined, dis·ci·plin·ing.
Proactive discipline is a bit more profound because we don't always understand the lesson we are supposed to learn during the process of said discipline. Take King David, for example... he wasn't even legit as king until well into later in his life, even though he was anointed for the position as a youth. Could you imagine what that felt like?? Basically, you're told that God chose you to run His nation--but not yet. Just sit tight for a couple decades. Right. So proactive discipline for David came in the form of patience and preparation.
To pass the time until he could ascend the throne, young David was out in the pastures protecting his father's sheep from lions and bears. Little did he know that doing the 'dirty work' behind the scenes would catapult him to the forefront by killing a giant that punked trained warriors. [1 Samuel 17:34-37] But it didn't end there because David then joined the army of the king; musta been really awkward working for the man you know you're going to replace, but he.o.e.n.o. (Yeah, I said it.) It probably didn't dawn on him at the time, but enlisting to serve and then rising through the ranks to lead said army was essentially basic training in leadership. Kinda useful if you're gonna run a whole country, no? So by the time it was David's turn to wear the crown, he'd already been through "King 101" because God had orchestrated the events of his life to provide the discipline needed to be Israel's most noteworthy leader. Checking for his general's wife, knocking her up, then having him whacked wasn't in God's syllabus, tho... that was definitely some extracurricular activity on David's part. Yeah...
The moral of the story is that discipline doesn't necessarily equal punishment, but God--like any other loving parent--won't hesitate to use punitive action to teach a serious lesson. On the other hand, He wants His children to be prepared for the responsibilities that come with the blessings that He has for us. So think of a teen itching to drive dad's car... Dad would be irresponsible, foolish or both to give junior the keys before making sure that he's passed driving school and/or gotten his learner's permit. But when Dad does hand over the keys, it's to a son who was trained on how to enjoy the blessing of a whip responsibly (we can hope).
So when we endure seemingly unfair punishment and wonder what we did wrong, keep in mind that God might just be inflicting a good dose of discipline for our benefit in the long run. Yeah, just gotta love our Heavenly Father!