Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 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 12:9–11
Discipline and “fun” don’t really go together. And that’s kind of the point. Discipline is a necessary course correct on the human tendency to pursue fun at all costs. Just ask any 5 year old (or maybe his parents!). Our culture has elevated the pursuit of fun, pleasure, and happiness above all else. Anything that gets in the way of us maximizing our fun needs to be corrected. This is why we are all trying to find jobs that will make us happy every minute of every day (and are depressed by the fact that work is cursed and even the best jobs just have bad days). This is why we maintain the abomination of abortion, so that our “fun” can be unlimited, and without “consequences” (or, in the case of children, blessings).
God disciplines his children out of love. While we humans can discipline in anger, or laziness, or ignorance, God always disciplines out of love and, as the author says here, “that we may share in his holiness.” And we know that it is worth it, because we have seen the result. Men and women who respond well to discipline from their earthly parents often live with wisdom and humility. And all the more for believers who do the same!
Do you seek out discipline? Do you praise its value and worth? Are you willing to ask God to discipline you so that you can be more holy, so that you can eradicate sin in your life and pursue him with fewer burdens? King David certainly saw the value of discipline. As painful as the discipline for his great sin with Bathsheba was, in Psalm 51, he recognizes the importance of the conscience, and our need to listen to it (vs 6), and he promises to grow and learn from the experience, so that he can help others learn and so that he can glorify God (v. 13-17). Discipline is good. The fight is worth it. Let us respond with humility and joy, at the love of our Heavenly Father!
The “Isolation Introspection” series started as an opportunity for me to encoruage members of our Bible Study with daily reflections from the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan during the 2020 “Stay at Home” mandate in Los Angeles. I’ve moved them here so that they can be shared easily, and perhaps benefit others. I hope you enjoy!