Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Good Discipline

At the time,
discipline isn’t much fun.
It always feels

like it’s going
against the grain.
Later, of course,
it pays off handsomely,
for it’s the well-trained

who find themselves
mature in their
relationship with God.

Hebrews 12:11 (The Message)

It hurts me more than it hurts you were the most ridiculous words I heard as a child. How could being disciplined possibly hurt my parents more than it hurt me? It made absolutely no sense until years later when I found myself disciplining my own child. My intentions were to bring about a specific character or pattern of behavior but I found that disciplining, like being disciplined, hurts like crazy. Good discipline isn’t given or received easily.

If one pursues a relationship with God it’s a guarantee that discipline will be involved. Our inability to live in the challenging moments of our lives can become the hurdle preventing our discovery that God may be disciplining us towards a specific character or pattern of behavior. Sometimes we allow the pain of now to keep us distracted from discovering who we are and what God may want us to become.

Athletes speak of breaking through a barrier or challenge in the midst of training. It’s the pain of discipline that helps them break through to their desired goal. To experience the pain, the hardship, the crises of our lives and yet break through the barrier, is to begin discovering the handsome pay off–a well-trained, mature relationship with God.

God could very well be saying, It hurts me more than it hurts you, but, inflicting pain isn’t what he’s after. His good discipline, however, does have a break through goal in mind. What specific character or pattern of behavior is God wanting to achieve in your life today?

Jesus, I don’t like being disciplined.
It hurts! I need your help today to
break through the discomfort
and discover the specifics of
who you want me to be.

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