Discipline. Most of us experienced some form of discipline growing up. We were given boundaries and told no and occasionally punished if we did wrong. But since God is our loving father, what does His discipline look like? How does it fit in with His plan for us?
In the old testament the “wrath of God” was more present. In Leviticus, God gave Moses rules and rituals regarding how the Israelites should live and how the tabernacle was to be treated. Failure to abide by these rules would almost certainly result in death.
“Then in my anger I will be hostile towards you and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over.” (Leviticus chapter 26, verse 27). The Israelites were taught to “fear the Lord" and really honor Him with various rituals and festivals.
In the new testament, the arrival of Jesus had prompted a very different approach to discipline. Jesus still reprimanded those who were sinning, but His approach of love and forgiveness caused many more to repent and change their way of life.
“Jesus straightened up and asked her. Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you? No one sir she said. Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared. Go and leave your life of sin.” (John chapter 8, verses 10-11).
How does God treat us?
As followers of Christ today, we are blessed to have our own individual, personal relationships with our Saviour. This means that we are all special to Him and have our own ways of approaching.
But unfortunately, like the Jewish people of the old testament and Christians of the new testament, we are still sinners and must accept when our sinful actions have consequences. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans chapter 3, verse 23).
So one way that God disciplines us today, is when He lets us face the punishment of our sins. He doesn’t stop loving us, but because He is our loving father, He lets us understand that wrong actions can have consequences that we may not like.
Another way God disciplines His earthly children, is by sometimes saying no. Occasionally as humans, we fall victim to the sin of greed and ask God for things out of selfish intentions. If what we are asking for is not lining up with God’s plans for us, then He may choose to say no.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves.” (Philippians chapter 2, verse 3.” Because since God knows our hearts, He knows what are true intentions are when we pray for something.
I have had a few times personally, where I have had to experience God saying no or allowing me to face the consequences of some of the sins I’ve committed.
Sometimes it has been because I was asked for something selfish. Other times it has been because I have said or done something that is not in line with what God wants for me.
It usually isn’t until after I have experienced God’s discipline, that I have looked back on my choices and behaviors and realized why God said no or why I ran into difficulties in certain situations. It is usually then when I have had to reflect on things and repent. This becomes a lesson for the future and a guide to lead me in the right direction.
God is our heavenly Father and like our earthly fathers, He shows us love by giving us boundaries and has consequences for when we break those rules He has set for us. But we are very blessed that He always forgives us when we repent and turn away from our sinful way of doing things. This shows us what an amazing and loving father He truly is.
My name is Kate and I love gardening, exercising, and being involved with my church social groups. I have loved to write from a young age, and took up poetry as a teenager. I have recently got married and am enjoying getting used to married life.