Into the Sea (It’s Gonna Be OK)
March 28, 2016
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.
This is one of those passages that can be stirred into debate, but let us be reminded that our last verse of the day (Mark 9:49-50) ended with "live in peace with each other".
I think the term "discipline" is what trips most of us up. Somewhere in our past, someone used "discipline" in a way it was never meant, and therefore it now wears that act as its definition.
My kids have seen, as I'm sure most kids have, Hebrews 12:10
For our earthly fathers discipline us for a few years, doing the best they know how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.
My kids have seen me doing my best but they have also seen my best change through the years.
I wonder if we could change our perspective on this verse just a little. After all, discipline is not necessarily about physical pain.
In the gym, we say "no pain no gain" but it really isn't physical pain we are enduring. It is the discipline to continue to pump out reps through muscle fatigue.
As a child, some of the most memorable disciplines I received came from the look of sadness from my Dad as he peeled off his belt. The stripes I took hurt far less than the knowledge that I made him do that.
At work, when I would perform poorly, discipline looked like counseling forms, demotions, and ultimately the pain in the wallet while searching for another job.
Pain takes many forms. God disciplines in different forms as well. Sometimes he removes people from our lives that we bad for our growth with Him. Sometimes He answers that prayer "Lord, please get me out of this speeding ticket" by saying "No". Be comforted by this, though. As a washed in the blood follower of Christ, God does not see your flaws. He only sees the flawlessness of Christ covering you. He's separated your sin as far as the east is from the west.
The point is, let's not get hung up on discipline and pain being locked into a past experience that altered their definition. The only one of us that is an expert at discipline is God the Father. The rest are doing the best they can.
Christ is our chain breaker and mountain mover, and behold, He's creating a new thing in you.
Woe to he who quarrels with his Maker