To gain a deeper understanding of the loving nature of God's discipline, try to remember your own childhood. Maybe you heard these familiar words from your mother or father: "This hurts me more than it hurts you." Back then, you probably did not appreciate or even believe that sentiment. Nor did you comprehend the true meaning until you became an adult. Discipline is painful for both the rebellious recipient and the loving administrator, but the benefits outweigh the suffering.
A good parent loves the child enough to look beyond his immediate comfort and to work toward a more beneficial long-term goal—the transformation of a foolish, self-centered juvenile into a wise, self-controlled grown-up. The heavenly Father is working in the same way to mature His children. Divine discipline is a necessary part of the process and an expression of His goodness and love.
Although God knows the most effective means of disciplining us, the outcome is largely determined by our attitudes and responses. We can choose to submit and be trained by it, or we can rebel and waste the opportunity to grow in Christ-likeness. God is always working for our good, but by choosing our own way, we reject His best and grieve His heart.
If you don't align your thinking with the truth of Scripture, the pain and suffering of divine discipline may produce the sour fruit of a bitter attitude, an angry heart, and a distorted view of God. Instead, choose to be teachable, and He will produce the peaceful fruit of righteousness in your life.
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.