5 Important Biblical Truths You Need to Know about God’s Discipline
My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,Proverbs 3:11–12
and don’t be upset when He corrects you.
For the Lord corrects those He loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom He delights.
Nope, I don’t like being disciplined. I never have.
Truthfully, I don’t know anyone who gets excited about being sent to time out or having a privilege taken away.
Even though my grown-up self has gotten better at not acting out my displeasure of being disciplined internally I’m…
- Thinking “it’s not fair.”
- And “I’m not happy!”
Discipline doesn’t feel like love, does it?
The “Wordnik” Dictionary tells us that discipline is . . . “training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.”
Based on this definition and the Proverbs verse above, I’ve decided that it may be a good idea for us to take a closer look. Because the truth is that discipline:
- is based on love.
- is intended to teach and strengthen.
- produces wisdom.
Discipline is NOT punishment.
Although discipline and punishment are listed as synonyms and are used interchangeably . . . their definitions are quite different.
Punishment is defined as – pain, suffering, loss, confinement, or other penalty inflicted on a person for a crime or offense, by the authority to which the offender is subject.
God disciplines us as a Father who wants to protect and guide His child.
Our punishment was placed upon Jesus.
Jesus took our suffering, pain, and loss making it possible for us to live under God’s loving discipline and not receive the punishment we deserve.
God, our Father sent Jesus to suffer our punishment.
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.1 John 4:10
And because of Jesus, when He disciplines His children, He is at work in us and around us to teach us, guide us, and make us more like Jesus. His discipline is intended to strengthen and prepare us for the future.
5 Important Biblical Truths about God’s Discipline…
- God’s discipline always comes from perfect unfailing love. (Hebrews 12:6)
- God’s discipline is intended to correct and train. (Proverbs 3:12)
- God’s discipline helps to make us more like Jesus. (1 John 4:17)
- God’s discipline prepares us to resist temptation. (Romans 12:2)
- God’s discipline is never beyond our ability to endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Let’s pause and thank God for His perfect parental love…
A Prayer of Thanks for God’s Discipline
Father, I want to do Your will faithfully, and yet, I know I fail. I want to love like Jesus . . . the way You desire. Yet, no matter how hard I try, I know I don’t. I believe Your commands are intended to bless us not deprive us. The world lies to us and we listen. I listen.
Discipline then enters my life and I’ll admit I don’t like it. I don’t like living out the consequences of my own foolish selfish choices. I don’t like the pain of learning from someone else’s choices. I want smooth, easy . . . blessed.
But Your Word tells me that You allow discipline because You love me and want me to enjoy a blessed life full of peace and joy. And that means You want me to learn and live Your better way. I remember disciplining our children because I wanted them to be successful happy adults with great relationships and so much more. You are our perfect loving Father who wants the very best for His children.
I thank you! I’m sorry for my childish need for discipline. Thank you for Your patient love. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for Your Spirit who faithfully guides and instructs me leading me to a better future. I love You and humbly give myself to Your grace, mercy, and love. Amen.
I want to have a better attitude about God’s discipline.
I want to remember that everything He allows is filtered through His love.
I know He wants what is best for us.
His Word says that He delights in us. (Psalm 149:4) He wants to mold, strengthen, and perfect us through discipline. (Hebrews 12:11) Yet, when we are being disciplined, may we remember that Jesus took our punishment. He came to give us life . . . rich and satisfying life.
I came to give life—life in all its fullness. John 10:10
So, let’s try to trust and obey God’s will because we want to glorify Him and because we know it is what’s best for us. And remember that when the Lord disciplines us . . . it always comes from our Father’s perfect love.
May you be blessed and encouraged as you follow Him in faith today.
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Thanks Deb. I don’t always like discipline when I am going through it – especially at the beginning – but I always love it afterwards – because I see how God molds and shapes me into being the daughter I meant to be.
Oh, I agree, Deborah! I don’t think anyone likes discipline at the moment. But I’ve seen so often that the Lord holds me and guides me even then and all of it is intended to draw us closer to His heart. Blessings!
God disciplines always with love. Thank goodness!
Amen, Martha! Our Heavenly Father guides us with His perfect love. We are so blessed! Hugs!
How do we tell the difference between God’s discipline and things that happen to us because of someone else’s choice (drunk driver for example) or because of illness or even when we have made bad choices?
Hi Angela, it’s only my experience that God uses external events as a form of discipline. What I mean is that He may allow an illness to get our attention, or an accident, loss of job, etc. When we have to deal with the consequences of our bad choices then the Lord shows us that we didn’t rely on Him but made a decision without Him. The Scripture is clear that He will not prevent us suffering the consequences of our decisions. Look at Abraham, David, Samson, Moses and on and on. They were God’s people but frequently had to suffer the consequences of their decisions made without Him 💞😇. And it all meant to turn our attention back to Him. Seek His guidance and will for our life. Blessings…
What a good question, Angela. I think the Lord allows and uses many different things to discipline us and show us the importance of Trusting and Following Him. I don’t think we can necessarily explain specific difficult events as God’s discipline. We live in a sinful world. We often live out the consequences of someone else’s sin. And yes, we live out the consequences of our own sin. I do believe that God’s desire is for each of those types of circumstances to send us running to Him. His desire is always to mold us and make us more like Jesus, full of love for Him and for one another. Thanks so much for this. Blessings!
Thank you for your e-mail this is a great blessing to me.
I’m so glad it blessed you, Usha! Thank you for pausing to let me know. God bless you!
Because of my wayward nature, our Lord had to put me through some serious disciplines through my life. Many times He literally allowed me to walk to the ledge of the cliff before pulling me back and guiding me back to Himself. And it doesn’t matter how many times He put me through the fire, I always broke out in sheer panic. Until with His gentle Hand, the Lord showed me His presence, His will in the situation that helped me to cope with it. Helped me to recognize His love even in the midst of suffering, even in my backsliding. As not that long ago I admitted to my husband, I cannot not love God since He loves me so. When every human turned their back on me, He faithfully to His promise held my hand and guided along. When I was kicking against Him, and hurting Him, He surrounded me with love. He literally pulled me feet out of every trap, even the ones I set for myself, He told me that even if my mother would forget me, He won’t, and didn’t. And I don’t even know if I honestly love Him, yet He promised that He knows my name, and it’s written in His palm. Evidently I’m a very slow learner, or too stubborn for my own good, but start to recognize the blessings in His discipline. And when it comes, trying to remind myself that Jesus is there in the furnace with me, and doesn’t allow more I can bear, and He gives me the strenght for it. Thank you Lord for your infinity love. Blessings Deb 💞🙏
What a beautiful way to say it, Gaby! He is always with us and always using our circumstances to draw us closer to Him. Thanks as always for your thoughtful input. God bless you!
Thank you Deb. I am truly humbles.
Thank you, Marilyn! God bless you!