When I was barely a teenager a friend came over and negatively influenced me to prank someone through AOL instant messenger. I was soon caught. And since this broke a family rule with regards to appropriate internet usage, my mom took away my internet privileges for an entire week. I was outraged. How dare my mother infringe on my access to not-so-speedy dial up and AOL instant messenger? In the moment it felt unfair and unreasonable, but looking back I can see how helpful that correction was. I can also see that my mom truly acted out of love and concern for me.
Proverbs talks about punishing a child to save his or her soul from death. As his children, God, our Father, does the same with us. He disciplines us to get our attention, to protect us from self-destroying choices, to teach us obedience, to mature us. Discipline is not fun, but it is absolutely necessary. The irritation of not getting our own way; the bitterness that can come with on-going pain; or the anger of having something we desperately want taken from us will ultimately be diminished in light of the greater picture of salvation through Christ.
The next time you find yourself turning away from the Savior, and experiencing God’s discipline, remember this: It is for your good, and only for your good, and because of God’s great love.
How have you responded to God’s discipline in the past? How can you recognize his love through discipline to change the way you respond in the future?
Heavenly Father, my heart is slow to recognize your goodness and love through discipline. Help me to respond well to your correction and see past the moment of frustration to the greater reality of your love.