August 17, 2009

Forced Discipline

Written by Boyd Bailey

Forced Discipline… “A whip for the horse, a halter for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!” Proverbs 26:3

Sometimes we are in need of forced discipline. We are born rebellious and bent on our own way, until the grace of God begins to govern our goings and comings. We become foolish when we drift back into the bad habits of prayerlessness, selfishness and fearful living. Jesus loves us so much that He will jolt us back to Himself with uninvited discipline. Indeed the wise turn to Christ before He has to bring them into submission.

Nations who forget the Lord will experience the fate of His forceful discipline. “Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge? The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile” (Psalm 94:10-11). The larger a country’s coffers the smaller Christ becomes. Affluence needs Almighty God.

We are better than animals that have no understanding, “Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:9). However if you ignore God He is willing to use force to initiate intimacy. You may have lost your job, but you have not lost your calling. You are still the spiritual leader of your home and the recliner is not your throne. Foolish men and women flee from their responsibilities in fear, but the wise remember whose they are.

There may be people in your life who need you to be more forceful in your discipline, if not they may hurt themselves and those around them. Don’t fear confrontation, but do fear the fruit of undisciplined living. Perhaps your loving discipline will keep them from drifting toward a most dangerous destination. “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). Do I submit to the discipline of the Lord and His authorities in my life? Do I love others by applying discipline when it’s difficult?

Related Readings: Job 5:17; Proverbs 15:10; Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelation 3:19

Transformational Living
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