“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Hebrews 12: 5b-6
This passage from Hebrews (a paraphrase of Proverbs 3: 11&12) is not one that resonates
with people today. We avoid pain, correction and discipline. We are more likely to find someone to blame than ask, “What is this teaching me? How can I change?”
In Philip Yancey’s book “Where is God When it Hurts” he explores the importance of physical pain. He reminds us that pain is an alarm for action on health issues facing our body. Discipline and correction can have the same impact for our spiritual health. They can alert us to spiritual issues in our lives – areas where we need to take notice.
Discipline and correction come in two main ways. It can occur through those things that are out of our control, such as illness, accidents or events. They are circumstances which shape us. Then we can have the consequences of our own, often foolish, actions that come back to haunt us.
The great thing is that God uses both of these sets of events to mould, shape and direct His children. God doesn’t waste any circumstances to develop the image of His son in His adopted children. Daily, His aim is to recreate the perfection of His son in us.
The other word that needs to be highlighted is “discipline”. The Greek word is ‘paidiea’ – which means to train and educate, but also to correct errors. In English the word is translated as discipline, which comes from the word to tutor and disciple: in other words, to make a follower of. On the surface these definitions sound a bit a cold. Put in Christian terms, however, it means to be formed into a loved son or daughter of God.
To be disciplined is a sign of God’s love. Tough love that prepares us for an eternity with the Maker.
P.S. This devotion was the catalyst for yesterday’s poem “But You Did”