(Note: This article is scheduled to appear in the Feb. 17 edition of the Linn County News.)
“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.” (Hebrews 12:11 ESV)
Discipline is not something we usually think well of. It’s often painful when we discipline ourselves; and it’s often painful when we are disciplined by those in authority over us. But ultimately, discipline is a good thing that brings beneficial results to our life.
Part of a parent’s job is to discipline their children. Kids aren’t’ disciplined because their parents hate them. In fact the truth is quite the opposite. Parents discipline their children because they love them and they know that unless their behavior changes they will have a hard time making it in the world. We discipline our kids because we love our kids; the same is true with the children of God.
God disciplines his children today as well. Sometimes he brings circumstances into our life to teach us a lesson. Sometimes he brings Bible verses, or sermons into our life because he’s trying to teach us something. And just like children, we can either submit to his authority and learn; or we can fight against him in stubbornness. If we submit to him and try to discern his lesson, the Bible says our life will yield “the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” There is a great peace that comes from knowing and obeying God out of heart that loves him. And the more we love, follow, and obey him; the less discipline he needs to give us. As we learn to spiritually discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness (see 1 Timothy 4:7); we will find that God doesn’t have to discipline us as much.Are you a true child of God? Have you turned from sin in broken repentance and committed your life to Jesus Christ as Lord? If so, then you can expect him to discipline you when you sin. He does it out of love because he wants what’s best for you. Submit to Christ, embrace his discipline, and enjoy the “peaceful fruit” of a righteous life lived for his glory.