Any discipline can be unpleasant. Do you still remember the time when your father disciplined you for something you did that displeased him? There were several times, right? You may have been grounded for a time from going out with friends. Or for some weeks, you are not allowed to use the internet. The list could be long. Parents do these for a good reason. A parent who cares for his or her child would always take the time to correct the child. That is basically what discipline is for. It is to correct the wayward behavior and train the person to what is right and good. A bent or crooked wire needs force to be staightened. A plant is tied to a straight stick to keep it growing straight up and not bent. So discipline needs an amount of force to put the person to the straight road or to tie him to the right way of living. This is the reason why discipline can be unpleasant or painful. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” -Hebrews 12:11.
What should be our right reaction to God’s discipline? Our response to discipline is a crucial indication if we will grow in righteousness or not. As a teacher and parent, I would often encounter young people who despise correction. They do not want to be told of the wrong they have done. They resent teaching and correcting and sometimes, they are even proud of the wrong things they do. They take correction lightly as if they know better. In the same manner, sometimes we treat God’s discipline lightly. We do not want to be disciplined. We ignore His correction. It is important that we learn to accept God’s correction and discipline. The Scripture tells us, “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” -Hebrews 12:7-8. A wise person understands what the goal of disicpline is. He also knows where discipline stems from. Discipline is in accord with love. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). Love would dictate that a wrong should be corrected. Love would lead anyone to give discipline to an erring person. This is the same reason and purpose why God disciplines us. He disciplines his sons. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” -Hebrews 12:6. God’s discipline, is therefore, an act of His love towards us whom He treats as sons. This is just a wonderful truth that needs to permeate our understanding of who we are in God. When God treats us as sons, He lavishes His love on us. That perfect love of God for us compels Him to discipline us when we sin. As children of God, the right response to God’s discipline is to endure it. We are told, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him” -Hebrews 12:5. Listen to God’s correction and be patient in the discipline He gives. We should not be wearied by His discipline. It is painful. It is unpleasant. But in the end it will give you pleasant results that are lasting and which have eternal value. It yields the fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11).