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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I hate disciplining my children. Maybe hate is a strong word but it's definitely not something that I relish. I'd much rather wrestle with Harrison in the floor or snuggle with one of my girls on the couch while watching a movie. I have been blessed with four beautiful children--each one with a unique personality that brightens my world. All four have these million dollar smiles that can change my temperament in a moment's notice (Josh, my deceased son, was the same way). But there is still that discipline thing. And because I love them and I want all four of them to grow up as God-honoring, God-fearing, responsible adults, I have to "bite the bullet" and put on the discipline hat every so often. It is one of the many responsibilities I have in making sure that my kids transform from naive young children to mature adults.

I wish I had a dollar for the times I made comments like, "You know I don't want to have to do this" or "This hurts me as much as it hurts you...maybe more." (I know, I'm turning into my dad. The first time I said that I almost choked because I sounded so much like him).

The book of Hebrews (For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. Hebrews 12:6 ESV) tells us that the same thing is going on in our relationship with God. He loves us...so much that He died for us. Ultimately, He wants to see everyone of us mature from naive young believers into strong, mature Christ followers. That takes discipline. Because I don't always get it right and I make some stupid choices, I need a God who loves me enough to discipline me, to correct my erratic behavior and to lovingly guide me back to where my life needs to be.

The other option is to grow up as a spoiled child. Frankly, I think we have enough of those--inside and outside the church. There are plenty who refuse to accept God's discipline or would rather not learn from what He wants to share.

Yes, discipline hurts. But what hurts more is to find out that we have settled for less than what we could have been because we refused His loving correction. Maybe what you are experiencing today is not a trial or unfair persecution. Maybe it is your loving Father trying to show you where you have gotten outside of His will for your life. With compassion and tenderness (remember, it hurts Him more than it hurts you), He is trying to draw you home.

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