A Time for Discipline

Daisy & Duke
I’ve spent the past several years attempting to train two boxer puppies. “No” has become my favorite word!

I have not used a rolled-up newspaper to discipline them. However, more than a few times I’ve tapped them lightly on the nose to reinforce a reprimand.

Working with these unruly pups reminds me of the picture some people have of God: an angry father standing over us with a rolled-up newspaper, ready to strike us on the nose if we step out of line.

Christians who have this wrong view of God’s discipline spend their lives wary of angering Him. Fear replaces joy. Obligation supplants love. Legalism supersedes grace. It’s not only a sad way to live, it’s the opposite of the abundant life Jesus won for us.

But the Bible describes discipline this way:

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11 NIV).

When discipline is required, let’s receive it with gratitude for how it will grow us to be more like Christ.  When we must extend discipline to the children in our lives, let’s do it with love. And may we always teach them that the punishment all our sin truly deserves was paid by Jesus Christ. He was stricken by God so we would not have to be.

The best example to our children is when we receive God’s discipline as from a loving heavenly Father who only wants our ultimate good. When we keep a right view of God as we receive discipline, we leave a legacy for the next generation that speaks volumes!

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About Ava Pennington

Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. She moved from New York to Florida, leaving a twenty-year corporate career as a Human Resources executive. But don’t call her retired! She now teaches a weekly, interdenominational Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class of 300+ women from September through May. Of course, Ava writes. She has written for organizations such as Focus on the Family, Christianity Today, and Haven Ministries. She has also been published in 25 anthologies, including nineteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts International. Ava has also co-authored two children’s picture books, Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? If you’re looking for a speaker, she delights in challenging audiences with relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, please visit www.AvaWrites.com.

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