Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hebrews 12:11 “Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

When I read this passage I had to pause for a moment and consider the word discipline here.  Growing up I always thought of discipline as punishment but they are not necessarily the same thing.  There are two sides to the word discipline in my mind.  There is the discipline a parent gives to a child or God gives to us as his children.  Rather than thinking of it as punishment I think of the verse 4 in Psalm 23 that says “your rod and your staff – they comfort me.”  The rod and staff are tools to guide and nudge, not a stick to beat with.  God uses them to pull us out of the brambles and back onto the path.  He uses them to keep us from falling into the brambles in the first place.  The other use of discipline in my life is as study or discipleship.  I am learning to pray, study, meditate, etc.  These are disciplines I have taken on to become a better disciple of Christ.  With His word and Spirit as my guides, I slowly move forward in my disciplines and in my discipleship.  His rod and his staff, they still comfort me.

Help me be as gentle as you are when I discipline my children.  As they grow up, I pray that my discipline will encourage them to seek yours in earnest.  Help me train them in grace.  I pray that they will want to be disciples of yours, and that they will also find comfort and joy in your discipline and in becoming your disciples.  Amen.