When we react well to his discipline by learning the lesson and not repeating our error, we grow more like Christ and our relationship with God is stronger.
But it doesn’t feel good to be disciplined. It’s never fun.
When God has disciplined me, it’s always been a tough lesson. I have learned one very important thing about God’s discipline – I need to learn the lesson the first time. Otherwise, the lessons grow bigger and more obvious and harder until we hit bottom and THEN we look up to God. I think this explains many of the issues we see in our lives and in the world around us – people are not responding positively to God’s discipline and so the issue gets bigger and worse until people finally turn to God.
I’m trying to avoid that situation by ‘getting it’ and repenting and changing my behavior the first time. It’s not easy, but its worth the effort.
I’ve been forgiven and I’ve changed but I still experience the consequences of some of my old, bad choices. I’m amazed how sometimes I’m still paying the consequences for bad decisions I made over 30 years ago. It doesn’t seem fair until I realize that paying those consequences remind me of my need for a Savior. They remind me of how much I have been forgiven making it easier for me to forgive others. Dealing with the consequences for my old, bad choices reminds me of my continuing need for God’s redeeming power in my life. It reminds me of how faithful God has been to me so far on this journey and it helps me trust him with my future.
And I am reminded that he disciplines me because he loves me. He wants only the best for me.
Thank you, dear Father.