Monday May 23, 2005
The Process of Divine Discipline
How could a loving heavenly Father discipline one of His children? Very simply, God is willing to send correction in order to create personal holiness. We are not born holy, but as believers we are meant to conform to God’s likeness. Therefore, the Father trains us to recognize things foreign to His character and purge them from our life. Sometimes, this process is the painful result of our own sin.
Of course, no child enjoys a spanking, and God does not expect us to like our discipline either. But our response is important, which is why Paul tells us not to take instruction lightly. When God’s correcting hand falls on a certain area of our life, we need to address it in order to mature in our faith. The temptation to get discouraged weighs heavy, but Paul gives a simple promise to hearten us: “Those whom the Lord loves He disciplines” (v. 6)
When we falter and sin, God’s attitude is not one of stern disappointment or anger. He is not a cruel boss; He is a loving Father who looks out for our good. Consequently, He gently corrects His children the way a good parent should. A human father does not want his son to grow up rebellious, crude, and bent on wrecking the lives of others. To prevent this, the father disciplines his son out of love. In the same way, our heavenly Father wants His best for us. Discipline creates the desire for obedience and a spirit of submission that God can use to produce personal holiness in every believer.
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