Discipline is uncomfortable. Even when we are wrong, we still hope there would be no consequences. Because no discipline is pleasant but it surely brings peace at the end (verse 11).
The scripture tells us that, “If you are not disciplined…. then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all” (verse 8). This is very true. I am teaching children and teens daily. Sometimes they are naughty. If it is worse and keeps going, I would discuss it with their parents. However, because they are not my own children, I don’t do anything further.
Concerning my own children, things are different. Even when they were so young, I would not tolerate any impoliteness they did to anyone. There were times when they were crying while walking hesitantly towards the person whom they owed an apology to. I usually waited from a certain distance until they were done. I was hoping that my strict discipline would benefit and help them in their future encounters with any people, anywhere.
Meanwhile, God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness (verse 10). When we rebel against God’s rule, we would surely experience the discipline from him. Are we facing a hardship right now? It might be a part of discipline from God (verse 7). There’s something we need to do. Until we make it up with God or other people, we would never have a true joy. We need to repent and fix whatever we might have broken.
My father is a loving person. I remember when I was a child, very often he ran after me to the street with a glass of milk, as I used to skip it and just went to school. Years later there were moments when he was strict and sorted my unimportant activities to make sure I could submit my thesis as expected. Now he is old, almost blind. He boasts to everyone that spending his old age by living with me is the best thing. I feel guilty because actually there is still so much I need to improve. His love makes me want to do more. However, father and I sometimes argue over things. It’s not always sunshine.
If fallible people like us know how to love – how much more is our Father in heaven? We learn about love from God, because God is love (1John 4: 7-8). My children ran back to me after doing the right thing, looking for a hug – which they would surely get. Do we feel the love of God through the discipline he puts on us? Or does it feel like a burden for us?
King David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” True believers are not at ease when they wander away from God’s will. True believers submit to his discipline even though it is hard. We remember his love. God disciplines us as his children whom he loves. When that happens, God is waiting for us to do what we need to. As we accomplish it, I believe we will surely feel his hug by the peace he gives in our hearts.
Reflection on Hebrews 12: 1-12 by Desire Litaay
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