Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 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 12:10-11
When I was a child, my mother had made two ceramic birds. They were about eight or ten inches tall and were some type of elegant water foul. She had painted them a solid orange that matched the décor in her living room. There was something intriguing about those two statues and I frequently found myself sitting on the couch tinkering with them. “Put those down before you drop them and break them.” That seemed to be mom’s constant warning.
I remember vividly, when I was in third grade. It was winter and the Winter Olympics had been on television. Women’s figure skating had just ended. I rushed to my room and grabbed a slick pair of socks. Slipping them over my bare feet, I proceeded to skate around the living room, twisting and twirling, doing the most fabulous jumps when suddenly, in the middle of a spin, my hand caught the edge of one of the statues. It went sailing across the room, breaking in half. I felt sick at my stomach. Mom would not be a happy camper. So, I neatly placed the bird on its side on the table. I laid a bunch of newspapers next to make it look as if they had knocked over the bird and broke it. Mom would never suspect me – not in a million years.
I was wrong. She immediately asked me if I broke the bird. I came up with some wild story, which obviously wasn’t true and needless to say, mom truly wasn’t a happy camper. However, what angered her was not that I broke the bird it was that I lied to her. Mom offered me two options. The first was to be truthful and the second was to accept the discipline. Convinced she’d believe my story, I choose to remain steadfast. Her discipline soon followed and it was twice as bad because I’d lied.
God offers us discipline as well. He offers us ample opportunity to study and learn His preventative discipline, hoping we’ll choose the right path. When we fail to do so, He teaches us with corrective discipline. Our Father loves us dearly, but He wants us to be righteous and loving children, so He will discipline us, even to this very day in time. He is a God full of love and care for His children. His ultimate desire is for us to share the heavenly home He’s prepared for us.
Do things the easy way, and learn from His preventative discipline. It is much easier than the corrective discipline. Seek His ways and learn. The rewards are great.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for being a loving and caring Father; one who wants me to be the best I can be.