“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him.” (Hebrews 12:5 in the King James Version of the Holy Bible)

There is an area of parenting that I do not enjoy and that is disciplining my children. My ten-year-old can be especially difficult to punish because he is old enough now to justify, rationalize, and even minimize whatever he is guilty of. As a parent, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but through trial and error I’ve learned that there is such a thing as too much mercy. If I refuse to discipline, I have noticed that my son’s attitude borders on disrespectful, disobedient and stubborn. And have you noticed that punishment generally has consequences for the parent too? If I tell my son he can’t play with his friends for the rest of the day, I end up contending with a disgruntled, bored little boy who won’t give me a moment’s peace! Punishment effects whomever is involved.

The Bible teaches that disciplining our children shows them that we love them. And God takes our discipline very seriously too. He does not want us to regard it lightly. Refusing to surrender to God’s discipline will delay His blessing in our life. Just as a parent does not enjoy disciplining their children, it is God’s desire to bless us, not to hurt us. We need discipline to handle the blessings. Our character needs to be developed so we can receive more from the Lord without it destroying our integrity. Without discipline we would become spoiled and useless to the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Lord, I am feeling the growing pains of reaching a new level of commitment in my Christian journey. I understand that this is a season of testing in my life. Please help me respond correctly to discipline and open my heart to the lessons You are teaching me. Amen.

Devotion by Julie Long

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