"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
I’ve spent the past year training two boxer puppies. “No” has become my favorite word! I have not used a rolled up newspaper to discipline them, but more than a few times I’ve lightly tapped them on the nose to reinforce a reprimand.
This experience reminds me of the picture some people have of God: an angry father standing over us with a rolled up newspaper, ready to strike us on the nose if we step out of line. Christians who have this wrong view of God’s discipline spend their lives wary of angering Him. Fear replaces joy. Obligation supplants love. Legalism supersedes grace. It’s not only a sad way to live, it’s the opposite of the abundant life Jesus won for us.
When discipline is required, let’s receive it with gratitude for how it will grow us to be more like Christ. When we must extend it to the children in our lives, do it with love. And may we always teach them that the punishment all our sin truly deserves came down on Jesus rather than us. He was stricken by God so that we would not be.
How do you respond when you experience God's discipline in your life? Keep a right view of God when you give and receive discipline.