” 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Hebrews 12: 5-6
When my kids were in the throes of the “terrible twos” (which weren’t so terrible), Julie and I had to focus much of our energy on teaching our kids right from wrong through discipline. Now that they are older they are learning to discipline themselves, choosing priorities, dedicating the time they are given to sports, art, and studies while saying no to other things. I don’t know about you, but I’m still learning how to stay disciplined!
Sometimes we only think of discipline as a correction to destructive actions and we forget that it should also be an encouragement to life giving actions. Gracefully, lovingly, God disciplines us both ways, sometimes correcting us and other times encouraging us. In both ways, God’s discipline is an act of love intended to keep us living on the path to good lives for ourselves and others.
To grow in numbers as a church, we must first grow in our disciplined (focused, intentional) love for God and others. In fact, we will grow to become a people who asks each other “how is it going?” and really wants to know so that we can pray for and encourage one another to love and good deeds. Who knew, love and discipline go together!