Do you remember when you were younger and got spankings? Boy do I remember, my mother did not play. I HATED getting spankings and I would always silently say to myself, if that woman (yes she was “that woman” not my mother when I was being disciplined) loved me she would not spank me.
Sounds like something you may have said?
Even if you didn’t get spankings I’m sure you got disciplined by your parents some kind of way and shared the same sentiment. I remember I couldn’t wait until I became an adult so that I could do what I wanted to do and I wouldn’t have to go through being disciplined by my parents anymore. When I became a Christian I got a rude awakening.
When I gave my life to Christ, at some point, I realized that I was right back at square one when it came to being disciplined, but this time I was being disciplined by God. Honestly, I’m not sure which form of discipline is worse, at least when you get a spanking the pain is momentary and you usually forget about it fifteen minutes later. When I get cut up with the word, which is how God disciplines me, my feelings are HURT, and every time I read the passage that cut me I remember being cut.
It really hurts to have God hold up a mirror, through his word, and say, “this is what you look like right now and I don’t like it.” For example, when the Lord showed me that I was self-righteous and full of pride, I said, “Who? ME Lord? I’M self-righteous and prideful!?!” That response a lone was self-righteous and full of pride. I thought that because I was able to pass off as this sweet little humble woman in front of people, that God clearly must have been mistaking me for someone else, maybe an identical twin I didn‘t know about.
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not fake and I don’t pretend to be one thing or do one thing when I really mean another. I really do try sincerely to be a sweet humble person because I know that it is the right thing to do. My issue was that because I knew that being sweet and humble was the right the thing to do, I wouldn’t acknowledge when I wasn’t feeling so sweet and humble I would simply cover it up. So for Jesus to yank the covers off my behind and turn the light switch on really shocked me and hurt my feelings, but so be it.
I can say, “so be it”, because even though it hurts when I am disciplined by God it still brings a joy and a comfort because by him disciplining me, I know that he is my father and I am his child.
Hebrews 12:5-11(ESV) tells us this,
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
So this passage here tells us why we should be glad to receive discipline from God and why we simply cannot run away from being disciplined. If our parents could discipline us then God can discipline us, and if we are his children then he WILL discipline us.
The best part about God’s discipline is that it is for OUR benefit. He disciplines us so that we can partake in his holiness by bearing the fruit of righteousness. When we’re being disciplined, it is God’s way of purging or pruning us so that we can continue to grow the same way you would prune a tree or a plant so that it can continue to grow.
Jesus said it best in St. John 15:1, 2 (KJV), I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
In order for us to grow, we have to get cut and when that word that is sharper than a two-edged sword (Heb 4:12) cuts us, no it doesn’t feel good, but it is for our good, because HE is good. As long as we keep that in mind we can find comfort and even happiness when God disciplines us. (Job 5:17)
Givin’ It To You Straight,
Ephesians 4:25 – Put away lying, speak every [wo]man truth with [her] neighbor: for we are members one of another.
Do you remember a time when you were disciplined by God? How did you feel about it and how did you respond?