And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly, or faint when you are reproved by Him; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and punishes every son whom he receives. Endure it as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline – which all receive – then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had natural fathers discipline us, and we respected the. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:4-11
“If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t care how you acted and I wouldn’t punish you,” I told my son. He glared at me with hot eyes, shaking his head in bewilderment. But even as I said the words, I didn’t really expect him to understand them. Not yet. Not until he is a daddy himself, with the task of raising his own son into a godly man. Then he’ll get it. Then he’ll understand that rules are given not to steal pleasure, but to protect from harm. Then he’ll realize that punishment is doled out to shape a child into a better person, not to beat him down. But not just yet.
This week, I’ve been on the receiving end of some discipline from God. It has not been fun. I really don’t like facing the sin he’s shown me, and I really don’t like dealing with the consequences of that sin. I’ve found myself acting out my son’s role in this drama, glaring at God and feeling like he was just really mean.
But no. I am his beloved daughter. And he is disciplining me because he loves me and has better plans for me than I have for myself. He knows I need some shaping, a bit of pruning, and a good work out to become the woman I need to be to accomplish them.
God is not vindictive. He is my loving father. Right now, I am going through a painful time. Indeed, “no discipline seems enjoyable.” But, if I am an attentive daughter, if I will repent, change my ways, see it as a training time, then later I will see the “fruit of peace and righteousness” in my life.
I’ve seen it before on other issues. I’ll see it this time, too.
Because God loves me. I am, after all, his cherished daughter.