Deuteronomy 8:5 "Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you."
Discipline is never a fun topic. It oftentimes hurts to be corrected. Yet God corrects us for a reason.
A few weeks back I felt the Lord speak correction into my life. He began to convict me for not always "listening" to the hearts of the people he brings me into contact with. In my job I see a lot of homeless and low income families. It is very easy to listen to the same stories over and over and begin to let your mind drift or to tune out the heart of what is being spoken. As I was sitting in the drop-in centre awhile back I felt the Lord "strongly" urge me to pay attention to what 2 different people were saying. As I focused in I saw a "new" side to these individuals as they shared some of their heart. It was an eye-opening experience.
The hard part was what came next. As I realized what I had been missing in my "assumptions" of the conversations the Lord chastised me for not "seeing" what He saw in them. I felt the Lord breaking away some calluses that had begun to appear. Social service work is hard and it is a battle to not become cynical to the situations. I am not proud of the fact that I was becoming dulled to the stories.
I had to repent and ask the Lord to soften my heart in these areas again.
Hebrews 12:6 "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
Discipline can hurt, it can be quite painful. Yet the Lord has a purpose in it. We may not see it at the time. We may not see it for a long time. However God loves us and He wants what is best for us. Just as parents correct their child God corrects us when we need it.
Hebrews 12:10 "For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness."
God wants us to share in His holiness, to reflect Him. He will bring correction in our life as needed. The struggle for us is not to fight it. When we try to "save" ourselves from discipline we only end up miserable. It is far better to let the Lord deal with us as needed.
I am still feeling a bit "sore" from my recent correction and I pray the Lord continues to break away the calluses so I can "see" what He sees for the hurting.
I want to be receptive to His discipline for I know His purpose is right and His ways are higher than my own!