This is certainly not a popular word -Discipline
It brings with it all kinds of images some healthy and others not healthy. Before we talk about what discipline is I want to be clear, I am Not talking about Punishment. Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is training, correcting, recreating, smoothing out the rough spots. Disciplining is an act of love.
Let's chat today about the discipline that is required to become stronger in your faith. The Bible talks about an athlete training their body, getting it into shape. As we do a word study today on discipline maybe it will help us figure out why we run from discipline.
I suppose some of this comes from what I watched last night America Ninja Warrior. I can just hear the announcers as they say it in that very dramatic voice.
I love the show. I love it because I know these people have worked hard and they're doing things that there's no way my body could ever do!
Athlete after athlete competed in events that they have trained for. Some of the events have been common in the past and there are brand-new ones that they just have to adapt to in the midst of the competition. I was glued to the television watching these athletes who are strong agile fail one after another. Only a handful of the over 40 competitors made it to the ending of this initial competition.
We can Discipline our body to be stronger.
I love biking and as I have begun this season I realized quickly that I am so out of shape. Hills are so much taller, longer and it takes me a long time to get up them! It is frustrating to admit that I was undisciplined over the winter months to exercise. Now is the season of discipline! If I want to bike longer,and faster I must train! It means my body is going to be sore, I'm going to be slower and it's going to take a while to get back into shape. Discipline is key if I want to become stronger!
Ever wonder why we run from discipline?
Scripture tells us that God disciplines those He loves but we still run. Do any of these ring true for you?
We run because we think it might be painful
We run because we just don't want to do it
We run because we want control
We run because we are comfortable and don't want to change
We run because we've always run from discipline
God uses discipline in our lives for many reasons.
Discipline is a blessing, God uses it to correct and teach us.
“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. Job 5:17
Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law; Psalm 94:12
Discipline Points others to God. When we listen to Him.
Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. Pro. 10:17
Discipline helps us understand God.
Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Proverbs 15:32
Discipline requires a response from us
Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. Jeremiah 17:23
Discipline is a sign that you are God's child.
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? Hebrews 12:7
Discipline produces righteousness and peace.
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. Hebrews 12:11
I love how the Message puts this!
In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?
My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. Hebrews 12:4-11
If you have been running from discipline, remember that today can be the day that you stop. Ask God where He wants you to grow and ask Him to show you how to submit that area to Him.
The next blog post will discuss living a life that is surrendered to Jesus. No more running.