Hebrews 12:6 ‘For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and scourges every son whom He receives.’
The subject of discipline may conjure up bad memories for some people. Often people confuse discipline with punishment. Although discipline may involve punishment, discipline should primarily be a means of teaching or discipling. Few people like to be disciplined. Even as Christians we are not fond of discipline, even when we know that it is coming from our heavenly Father. As children, we may have had fathers who corrected or disciplined us in ways that God would not approve of. And, even though our fathers may have had good intentions or motives in mind, the discipline may not have been conducted in a spirit of love. In the case of spiritual discipline, we can be confident that God only administers discipline when it is absolutely necessary, and it is proof of His love for us. Often we may not understand the reason for spiritual chastisement, but God knows exactly what we need, and how to achieve the results He knows that they are for our good. God’s chastening may be for one of two reasons – as punishment for sin, or as a deterrent to help the believer avoid making the same mistake again. When the verse speaks of scourging, it refers to the most serious form of discipline, which is necessary when we persist in disobedience and are unwilling to respond to the Holy Spirit’s attempts to teach us or guide us. But as the Master Teacher, God’s scourging will be appropriate for the intended result. Rather than be discouraged or resentful, we should be encouraged that every act of spiritual chastening is precisely what is necessary for us to grow and mature in our Christian journey.
What do you think God uses as spiritual discipline?
How do you respond to spiritual discipline?
Shouldn’t we discipline ourselves spiritually?