THIS I BELIEVE: GOD OFFERS DISCIPLINE OUT OF LOVE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 2016 – Hebrews 12:8-11
“For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
I am aware I am in dicey territory here. After all, parents regard discipline in a variety of ways. But I think it is safe to say, a child who grows up without loving discipline will be unable to apply self-discipline, later in life. A good parent sets boundaries, and when necessary, disciplines a child who cannot seem to abide by those boundaries. Our God is no different. As the writer of Hebrews says, since we are legitimate children of God, God takes seriously our spiritual growth and our ability to live a self-disciplined life. At the time, God’s discipline is painful, but in time, we recognize the lessons learned and the ability to live good and godly lives. When we find ourselves being disciplined by God may we find also the grace of being set on a better path for our souls and our lives.