Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hebrews 12 -- Discipline

Just the mere presence of the words causes all kinds of issues for us. Whether it is the correction of a behavior, or the commitment to engage in a process of health, discipline is usually high on the to do list and low on the follow through. Discipline is one of those words and ideas which has become outdated in some circles. Yet here we find in the Scriptures Hebrews 12 and a discussion about discipline.

The writer is clear, no one really enjoys discipline when it is going on. Usually there is a measure of pain and dissatisfaction with discipline. Oh, but when we come through the round of discipline and look back we are often thankful. When it comes to discipline in our lives the way we experience the discipline of God has a lot to do with how experienced discipline in our formative years. Some were fortunate enough to live in homes where discipline while tough was done with great love and grace. Others lives in homes where discipline was metered out higher of the tough and lower of the love and grace. While others still had to deal with brutal discipline, often physical, and an absence of love and grace. It is easy to transfer the way we were disciplined to the way that God is going to discipline.

I am going to focus on those who experienced a very harsh and unloving discipline in their formative years. When folks in this group experience the discipline of God, there is an increased focus on the pain and suffering. This is the only way they know discipline to function. There is an expectation of God simply beating them, and moving on. That is not how God disciplines. The pain may be there, the suffering may be there, so won't God. We have heard it said, "This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you." In earthly terms, that is not always real true. When it comes to our godly correction, the hurt and pain are equal. God is not looking for ways to get us, and to have to go through trial. God would rather spend all the days in delightful conversation. We, humanity, tend to stray from the plan and the result is discipline. It breaks God's heart to see us in pain, yet God knows that is how we will learn and be trained in the ways of following.

Discipline is painful, none of us really look forward to it. Yet, without discipline we would be even more trapped in the endless cycle of going our own way. Remember when times of discipline come, find a way to see God with you, growing you, longing to see you become more of who you are designed and created to be.

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