"This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you." We've all heard that before, right? It's the statement that parents say immediately before they commence to punishing a child. When a child is disobedient, the Scriptures say, a parent is supposed to discipline the child. God expects parents to "train up a child in the way he should, so when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). And sometimes that training involves uncomfortable situations and even pain.
I didn't receive a lot of whippings growing up. In fact, I can remember one. I'm sure I deserved a lot more, but my mom and dad chose to discipline me through other means. I also had a heavy dose of honor and respect for my parents, especially my dad. I never wanted to disappoint him. It just broke his heart. So, I didn't sneak out of the house or steal the car for joy rides. I made straight A's, worked a part-time job, and participated in extra curricular activities. That was my life.
Now that I am an adult, just doing the right things in life - education, career, family, church - is not enough to grow into the mature disciple God calls us to be. Doing all the right stuff leads to a "good enough" life in the world; however, God wants us to have an extra-ordinarily abundant life in the Kingdom. To obtain this, we have to continue to grow. And with growth comes new challenges, higher expectations, and more discipline. I'm learning right now that discipline required to be a full-grown, mature woman of God, someone God can use to do mighty works, is for my own good. I continue to work on being:
Disciplined with my tongue - I can't say anything and everything I want.
Disciplined with my body - I can't do everything my flesh wants to do.
Disciplined with my heart - I can't get caught up in emotions in every situation or with every person.
Disciplined with my money - I can't spend it like I want to; I must follow what God has said.
Disciplined with my assignment - I can't step out of position because something else would be easier or give me more fame.
When we are not disciplined in our faith walk, God has to discipline us. And just as our parents said, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you," God feels the way. It hurts God to punish us. It hurts Him to see his children rejecting instruction and selling their birthright. It hurts Him to see his sons and daughters choose the lesser part, when they have a rich inheritance waiting on them once they reach maturity.
I don't know about you, but I don't want a whipping from God. He's already paddled me, pinched my ears, put me in time out, and taken away some privileges. When God decides to whip you, that's the last straw. He's had enough. I can hear the Lord saying, "Go get the belt." Sisters, as the Word says, "Obedience is better than sacrifice" (1 Samuel 15:22). Whatever the Lord wants me to do, I am going to do it because I know it's for my good. God has plans to prosper me and not to harm me, says the prophet Jeremiah (29:11). He wants the best for me because He gave the best for me - His one and only Son, Jesus. So, I'm trusting and obeying you, Lord.
It's all for my good.
Is there anyone else who has been disciplined by the Lord? What was that like and what are your plans for walking in obedience today? (I really missed your comments yesterday. Don't leave me hanging. Holla back!)
Your Alabaster Tip of the Day:
Discipline yourself this weekend, so God doesn't have to do it for you!