Gardendale Nazarene

to live completely for Christ...

Archives for May 2016 | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Discpline- Love or Punishment?

I was reminded this week of one of my favorite passages in Hebrews. Living in a part of the country where college football is very important, a similar news story plays out periodically. It goes something like this:

  • College football player (or players) do something they shouldn't do.
  • They get in trouble by law enforcement.
  • The media outlets run to the coach for a reaction.

This story played out this week. The story itself didn't stand out to me- it was the reaction of the coach that stood out. The media surrounds the coach prior to a round of golf and asks for a statement.

This is what caught my attention. The coach replied (this is not an exact quote), "You want to know what we are going to do to discipline these players. To you, discipline is punishment. For me, discipline is how we are going to help these young men make the right decisions for the rest of their lives."

When I heard this response, I turned to Heather and said, "That was a rather biblical response."

Take a moment to read Hebrews 12:7-11:

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Discipline might require an aspect of punishment. The goal is not punishment, rather holiness. A parent disciplines out of love. A parent seeks to break the bad habits and replace them with 'the peaceful fruit of righteousness.'

May you be encouraged. If you are a parent, know that you are shaping young men and women that they might bear fruit. If you are living in a time where you feel God's discipline, know that He sees you has His child and acts only out of love.

May His discipline shape in us the peaceful fruit of righteousness!