Discipline or Punishment
by Rev. Brian Mathis
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11 My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.[
Proverbs 3:11-12 (NLT)
9 For see, the day of the LORD is coming— the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger. The land will be made desolate, and all the sinners destroyed with it.10 The heavens will be black above them; the stars will give no light. The sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will provide no light.
11 “I, the LORD, will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their sin. I will crush the arrogance of the proud and humble the pride of the mighty.12 I will make people scarcer than gold— more rare than the fine gold of Ophir.
Isaiah 13:9-12 (NLT)
24 So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.
Jeremiah 10:24 (NLT)
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you— on the peoples that do not call upon your name. For they have devoured your people Israel ; they have devoured and consumed them, making the land a desolate wilderness.
Jeremiah 10:25 (NLT)
Do we truly understand that there is a difference between discipline and punishment? Often when people think about God; they see Him as some sort of malevolent creature, that is always out to get the poor me; who is just trying to live their life in whatever manner seems right to them. That has been the view of God and gods throughout history and cultures no matter where you look; from the native Indians to the socially elite of developed countries, God is often viewed as the person or thing that desires we never have any fun. He is often portrayed as judge and executioner. The problem is we fail to apply this simple truth to our lives; we are created in His image both physically and mentally. What we do and our natural responses are based upon what we know about or believe God to be like. Some of those responses have been taught to us by experience and some of it has been beaten into us by preachers and other Christians. But God’s word teaches us that just as we treat our own children; that is how God deals with us. Punishment is only applied to our lives when we are not willing to be disciplined. You see disciplined comes from the word disciple to be a disciple means to be taught or trained. When we discipline our children it is to help them make choices that will lead to a better life. When we punish them it is to correct behavior that is harmful. Being made in the image of God we are only mirroring the way He works with us in our own lives. Today if you are in a trial it is more than likely not punishment for something you have done; but it is most likely discipline, and God is using it to try to educate you in an area of your life that you need to change. We say we have free will but in reality we do not. What we live with is conditioned will. We live under conditions each day; the choices we make bring life and death in every decision. WE discipline our children so they will make good choices. Through discipline God directs us to make the choices that bring life; if we fail to make those changes than punishment and death will come in the end. As Christians you have the promise of eternal life but it requires we make a choice; will we be obedient and take discipline and apply it with understanding allowing it to direct us to where God would have you, or is punishment awaiting you because you want it your way? Have a blessed day as you walk in the light of God’s Word.
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