Friday, September 4, 2009

Endure disciplines… (Hebrews 12:4-13) 040909

My daughter has begun to assert her will. She will let us know what she wants, and what she doesn’t want. Sometimes, what she wants is good, so we give it to her. But there are times that what she wants are not good for her or maybe even dangerous; so we don’t want to give it to her. When we go against her will or her ideas, she will be angry and sometimes she will cry or scream. Then, my wife and I will discipline her. We will insist she apologizes to whoever she throws her temper at, and we insist she goes to reconcile with whoever she has hit or screamed at. Sometimes, she will obediently do so; but there are also times when she cries and screams even louder. As good parents, we keep our ground and stand firm with our decision (though it can be really difficult, but we do so because we love her).

I think my experience with my daughter is not unique, I believe when we love someone, we unconsciously set a boundary for him or her, so as to protect him or her from getting harm. My wife is pregnant, and her job demands her to work late. Because I love her, I always ‘pressurize’ her to leave her workplace as early as possible; I even encourage her to take leave to rest (and she did it recently, slept almost throughout the day). Of course, I do not discipline her it she doesn’t, but I will express my unhappiness as some form of ‘discipline’.

Our imperfect love towards each other will cause us to discipline our love ones for the good of their well-being. Likewise, God disciplines us for our spiritual well-being (I think also for the well-being of our soul and physical). No wonder the author of Hebrews encouraged us to ‘endure hardship as discipline’ (v7). In other words, be patient when I withhold giving in to your request as a discipline.

What do you do when you know you are being disciplined by God? God disciplines us for our sins, or even just to direct us to His will. Do we get angry with God? Do we get away from God? Do we withdraw ourselves from God? I hope you don’t. I hope you endure hardship as discipline.

It is not going to be pleasant to be disciplined, and s going to be hard. But it is definitely good for you. Endure!




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