“You must submit to and endure correction for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline?” – Hebrews 12:7
There are certain things inside our hearts which bother us. They make us uneasy. And we may consider them as an attack from the evil one(most of the time) yet it is the work of the Holy Spirit within us. And in those moments the encouragement from Romans 8:28(that everything works for the good of those who love God…) seems a distant theory that doesn’t fit at all with our current reality. On contrary it feels like we are suffering punishment for the things we don’t understand. Unfortunately, in many translations of the Bible the Greek word ‘discipline’ is translated as ‘punishment’ which has nothing to do with the intention of the Holy Spirit.
Discipline always has a positive connotation, because it reveals the heart of God the Father as the verse above points out. Actually the other angle of grace is that it will always discipline us. Even the word ‘disciple’ has its root from the word ‘discipline’ which means ‘being taught’ Therefore only a disciple can receive correction and teaching which is the essence of discipline. Again I will say-it’s not in a negative connotation!
If we want to rule and reign in life we need to allow grace to discipline us. And on the other hand this will give us greater understanding for those who have not befriended grace yet, because they don’t understand the processes triggered by grace. The Holy Spirit through His word begins something inside of us that we might consider it as hardship or struggle or heavy storm. The truth is they are just circumstances around us and the danger is if we define them as ‘life is hard’ proverb. Life by itself is a perfect gift given by God and it’s never consisted of hardships and challenges of the circumstances. Let’s not be afraid from the difficulties and uneasiness in our lives, for they will initiate processes where God will discipline us, not because he doesn’t like us or that there’s something terribly wrong with us, but because he loves so much that he wants to protects us from things that simply aren’t suppose to be part of us. Jesus himself is the discipline, therefore discipline is not a punishment but rather a moment of our life when we experience great and deep honor from God because he knows we are meant to be of a noble character, we were born to be like that.
Within this process of discipline and correction the purpose of God the Father is revealed: to be people who will become spiritual fathers and mothers to others. He never intended for us to excel and become the best apostles, preachers, prophets, pastors or teachers…he simply want us to become like him-taking care of others as spiritual parents.
Only a humble person accepts to be disciplined, further on, only a disciplined person can yield fruit of righteousness which is for the benefit of others because that way this person can take care of others and offer advises for the sake of the others’ discipline, so they can learn to be someone’s spiritual mother or father just as God intended.