September 13 I Friday
2 Corinthians 6
“…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.” —Hebrews 12:10-11
When we are going through seasons of discipline, we would not say it is enjoyable. Rather, we would agree with the author of Hebrews that discipline is, in fact, painful. Yet, God disciplines us for our good—not to hurt or harm us—but to heal us. The goal of discipline is actually to teach us self-discipline. Every parent knows that; as we are teaching our children, we are trying to prepare them to make good choices themselves.
A couple years ago, one of my sons was dealing with a situation at school. There were kids who wanted to go buy some candy at a variety store next to the school during recess, which was something forbidden by the teachers and the principal. My son was being peer-pressured to join this group to go but he resisted their lure, held his ground and resolved not to defile himself with candy.
When he got home and shared that story, I lavished him with praise saying, “I am so proud of you for holding your ground and doing the right thing even though candy is really tempting and delicious. I am proud of you for making that decision.” I was going so above and beyond with the praise that my son started to become a little uncomfortable. He looked at me and said, “Dad, it’s just some candy. Take it easy.” But I told him, “I recognize in this situation, it was just some candy. But mark my words, as your friends grow older and temptations begin to surround them that are no longer candy but are other choices with greater consequences attached to them, the fact that you showed resolve in something as minor as candy, displays to me you are learning the lesson that every choice has consequences attached to it.”
A few years later, my son came to revisit that conversation with me. He said, “Dad, I think I know what you were talking about with candy, choices and consequences. Some of the kids at our school have made some really bad choices. One of the kids made such a bad choice that he has been moved to another school because of the consequences attached to his choice.” Then he added, “Dad, I get it. It’s not just candy.”
God disciplines us through decisions we make and consequences that follow. Even if we are going through a season of discipline and may not understand what is going on, God disciplines us so that we will learn to live rightly before Him and share in His holiness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, even though discipline is not pleasant to go through, You are using it to teach me to make godly choices. Thank You for disciplining me.