“I was reading in the Book of Proverbs last night,” I said to Stan one morning, “where it says that God disciplines me because He loves me.”
Continuing, I said with a smile, “And I wonder why He has to love me so much!”
“Too much discipline?” Stan asked.
“Seems like it sometimes,” I replied.
“Oh, how I can relate to that,” Stan said. “When God first awakened in me the desire to know Him and I committed my life to Him, there was an awful lot of stuff in my life that needed to be removed by His discipline so that I could proceed in the direction He had for me.”
“Did that discipline hurt?” I asked.
“There was some hurt for a time,” Stan replied, “but it didn’t last as I came to recognize as absolute truth what you were reading in Proverbs. The truth that all of the discipline God had for me was, in fact, because He loves me. He knew what needed to be removed in order for me to be His completely.”
Continuing, he added, “And God knows at the present what still needs to be removed by His discipline as I continue on the road towards spiritual maturity. The difference now is that I fully accept, actually look forward to, His discipline because I see it as His loving process of getting me to where He wants so He can use me for His purposes.”
“So the pain of discipline lessens over time?” I asked.
“I guarantee it!” Stan replied with a smile.
Continuing, he added, “And there is a second point on this whole discipline thing that I think is important.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“I think that discipline is a two-way street,” Stan replied. “God clearly disciplines me for His purposes, and I am to discipline myself for the same reason. After all, I think that discipline and discipleship are the two sides of the same coin. And you know what is required in order to be a disciple.”
“I do,” I responded. “There are three steps, each one of which requires discipline. I am to deny self, take up what God has for me to take up, whatever the cost, and follow Him, wherever He wants.”
“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied.
My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11, 12.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you love me and that you do discipline me in order to remove those things from my life that you want to remove to help my relationship with you. I confess that too often I have avoided your discipline because I wanted to do what I wanted to do apart from you. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in wanting to accept every act of your discipline, knowing that you love me and what you have for me is far superior to what I may want that is apart from you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Accepting discipline can be difficult because it hurts. Has God’s discipline hurt you in the past? Is it hurting you now? Is it a good hurt? Are you avoiding being disciplined because you cannot see beyond the pain? What is your part in God’s discipline?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.