“Whom the Lord loves he disciplines.” Ouch. Those are not the words we really want to hear from the Bible. Yet these words reflect the attitude of a loving Father towards his children. Discipline isn’t a bad word, it is a necessary word.
Many people read blogs, and even the scriptures, to feel better about themselves. If that’s you then you should probably skip right over this post. The scriptures aren’t always meant to make us feel better. Sometimes they are meant to challenge us and change us. All scripture is profitable “for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” according to 2 Timothy 3:16.
No one likes to be disciplined. In our humanity we would prefer to go through life completely unchecked. We want to do whatever we want and not pay the consequences. The problem is that real life isn’t like that. There are always consequences for our actions. Imagine growing up in a world where your parents let you do whatever you want. It sounds great, but in reality it would be devastating. You would probably already be dead, because you would have tried to play in traffic as a child, or eaten something that would have been hazardous to your health. The point is that parents put up rules and guidelines, not to ruin our lives, but to keep us on the right path, and in some cases to keep us alive.
God works no differently. His rules and laws are meant to make us live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. He disciplines us so that he can keep us on the right track. The problem is that many people look at God’s discipline as a burden, rather than the salvation that it actually is.
The challenge is to change our thinking in times of discipline. Instead of looking at God’s discipline as a negative thing, what would happen if we started looking at it as a good thing? After all, most of life is not what happens to us, but rather how we respond to what happens to us. God has a reason for disciplining us, and it is always for our good. The sooner we learn that, the better it will be for us.