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Discipline

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Hebrews 12:11

ALL discipline [discipline of every kind]

for the MOMENT [when it is happening]

seems NOT to be joyful [not a happy thing, to say the least]

but SORROWFUL [difficult to handle or understand; depressing and wearisome] yet to those who have been

TRAINED by it [guided growth toward habitual behavior]

AFTERWARDS [think about that word]

it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

If a child accepts disciplinary action as

necessary for maturing, for positive growth, and as coming from a base of love,

then AFTERWARDS the discipline will have been profitable. She will have learned (been trained by it), and positive growth will be the result. Don’t we long for our children to understand this, to believe us, to know that our discipline comes from a base of love?

I’m just as sure that God longs for us to understand and believe that His discipline comes from an unfathomable reservoir of love for us. And if we respond accordingly, we will learn! We’ll grow! We’ll see the positive results of that discipline in our lives.

But, you know, there are alternatives to responding positively to His discipline:

I CAN REBEL
“I was not wrong! You have no right to treat me this way. I resent Your interference and Your instruction, and I have no intention of going along with Your program. I’ll do it my way, thank you.”

I CAN REFUSE
“So maybe I was wrong. But I refuse to change or say I’m sorry. I’m not that difficult to get along with — I think maybe You’re disciplining the wrong person. What about him? What about her?”

I CAN SIMPLY ENDURE
“Hey, I’ll make it. I can handle this. You can’t get a good man down and keep him there. I’ll come back stronger and better! You keep it up, I’ll keep it up. . . .”

I CAN PASSIVELY ACQUIESCE
“Oh well, you win a few, you lose a few. Into each life some rain must fall. Whatever will be, will be. . . .”

I CAN RETALIATE
“I’m not going to be a doormat for anyone. I have my rights. I’m a fighter! The name of the game is survival, and I intend to survive!”

Then there is, of course, the POSITIVE response:

“I’m sorry, Lord. Please don’t let me go through this without learning what You want me to learn. I don’t want to be stubborn and hardheaded. God, don’t ever take Your velvet hand of discipline from my life. I want to change, to grow. And I know You love me and have my best interests at heart. I trust You.”

And with that response, something will begin to take root within us, something wonderful and fulfilling: the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.