November 24 – Hebrews 12:4-13. Discipline.

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 24 – Hebrews 12:4-13. Discipline.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, 

         “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.”  

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 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. 

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

When I was a kid, there were a few words I really despised.  Discipline was one of those words.  When Dad spanked me because I had been bad, he told me that when I was older, I would love him for disciplining me.  When he forced me to stay on the piano bench until I could play a piece 5 times in a row perfectly, he told me that I was learning discipline.  In both of those cases, I would have much rather been off doing something else rather than submitting to discipline of any sort.

Dad always told me that it was for my own good and though I knew he was rarely wrong, I didn’t want to have that thrust onto my young life.  Fortunately, he was the dad and I was the kid.

God works the same way with us.  He brings things into our lives that make us grow – even when they’re painful.  He disciplines us when we move too far from His will for our lives.

Discipline is never an easy word to have to live with, but fortunately … He is God and we are not.  He sees the big picture for our lives and for the universe and works to bring us all in line with it.

Dad saw a bigger picture for my life than I did when I was young and knew what would be important as I grew older.

God sees the bigger picture for me as well.  I still don’t much like the word, but I’m old enough to understand its importance.