I didn’t enjoy it, but for the first 18 years of my life, my parents disciplined me in an attempt to form my behavior.
My parents didn’t debate the merits of discipline or of their favorite form-spanking. Correction was a no-brainer, and “Spare the rod spoil the child” was an integral part of their child-rearing philosophy. Though never abused, my pride was definitely reigned in regularly with a hand or belt to my backside. Most of the time I knew I deserved the discipline, but on occasion I thought they were purely wrong…even though they never admitted it.
My disciplinary techniques with my children varied more in degree than in form. I wasn’t a perfect disciplinarian, and when I made a mistake in the severity of the discipline…or even in the discipline itself, I apologized.
I don’t necessarily enjoy God’s discipline either, but at least I know he’s the perfect parent and his correction is flawless as well. 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 (Hebrews 12:10 NLT).
God uses various methods of discipline for various reasons. My particular action, the severity of it, and God’s intended goal all enter into the equation. Unlike my imperfect discipline, God’s is always fair and just.
Good discipline also contains a teaching element, and God’s is perfectly designed to make me re-think what I’ve done, said, or thought that was contrary to his will and plan. Healthy disciplinary tactics are redemptive. God always has my best interests in mind and desires that I enjoy his best.
Let God’s discipline form you into a better person by rather than rebelling against it.
Prayer: We praise You Father for loving us enough to care when we go astray. Encourage us to allow Your discipline to move us back on track.