Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Hebrews 12:9
Discipline invites respect, whether it’s your children or your coworkers. Discipline is an application of accountability and is a consequence for unwise actions. If you are tuned in and discerning, you will apply discipline soon after the offense. Delayed discipline dilutes the dangers of bad decisions. If someone thinks they are getting away with something, they will drift further toward destructive habits. This is why it is wise to discipline our children sooner rather than later. They may not like it, but they will respect you for taking the time to correct their behavior. Furthermore, wise discipline means you define clear expectations and reasonable rules.
For example, your son or daughter needs to know in no uncertain terms that they will be disciplined for a disrespectful attitude, disobedient actions, or dishonest speech. Write it down, have them repeat it back to you, and then enforce it consistently. If they suspect they can slip by with undisciplined living, they will. Most important, discipline with loving patience. Discipline is not a club of correction, but a laser of love.
Wise discipline includes instruction. You show and tell why and how to live better by God’s grace. You are leading your children to be responsible adults. Discipline done well creates discipline in the recipient. They learn discipline by being disciplined. One day they will respect you for your discipline. Better to engage in conflict today than to watch them destroy themselves for lack of discipline tomorrow.
Above all else, receive the discipline of your heavenly Father. Respect for God follows discipline from God. He disciplines because He loves. Because God cares, He disciplines. He is relentless in His loving discipline. You cannot hide from the long, loving arm of the Lord. He will expose deeds done in secret. You cannot ignore God’s principles and escape the ramifications of His discipline. He disciplines for your own good, as it is protection from further harm. His discipline stokes the fires of fear for Him.
The Almighty uses different avenues to deliver His discipline. It may come through finances, relationships, or health. Don’t despise His discipline or be surprised by it. How you handle God’s discipline can weaken or strengthen your faith, for the fruit of God’s discipline is intimacy. Closeness to Christ and others comes as a result of discipline. Furthermore, divine discipline is training in peace. His peace dwells in the hearts of those who receive well the discipline of their heavenly Father. There is no greater peaceful, easy feeling than knowing your Lord loves you. He loves with discipline, which leads to blessing.
The Bible says, “Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty” (Job 5:17).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me through Your discipline to become a more devoted follower of Jesus, in His name I pray, amen.
Application: Who needs my loving discipline, so they don’t drift into foolishness?
Related Readings: Deuteronomy 8:5; Job 5:12; 1 Corinthians 11:32; 2 Peter 1:4