Saturday, April 7, 2007

A Harvest of Holiness

“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 12:7 (NIV)

Have you ever heard the phase, “This is going to hurt me worse than it hurts you,” as the discipline the adult in your life was administering was carried out? I remember hearing that as a kid growing up and surprisingly enough I never did believe my dad when he said it. Later as I grew older and had a kid of my own I soon learnt that it was a true statement. What about the phrase “This is for your own good” yeah right we think, as we roll our eyes. However, even God says that in v10 in this chapter that we are disciplined for our own good in order that we may share in God’s holiness. Sadly enough some people don’t want to contribute to that holiness, after all living an undisciplined life is so much more fun.

It may be fun for awhile but it’s a temporary thing that leads us down a path not pleasant to travel to a harvest not worth sowing. In the 12th chapter of Hebrews it talks a lot about the Lord’s discipline and how we are not to make light of it or lose heart because of it either because the Lord disciplines those He loves and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Wow what a compliment to us to know that we have been accepted as His sons and daughters and because of His love for us He’s not afraid to discipline us whenever needed, playing an active part in our spiritual upbringing.

I was told once by a woman who was a step-mom that she found it difficult to know when she could or couldn’t discipline her step-children. With God we are not His step-children, the Bible tells us we have been adopted as His very own, joint heirs with Jesus. A true Father who wants His children to grow up right who is willing to discipline them to get them where they need to be spiritually in their lives.

As painful and far from pleasant that discipline is, whether its coming from God, others or ourselves, when properly administered it’s capable of producing a fine harvest of maturity and character. Plowing the fields and farming is hard work but it produces a harvest. Disciplining ourselves to lose weight, quit smoking, change a bad habit is never enjoyable at the time but it produces a harvest. Disciplining ourselves to study for a test, or do things we’d rather not, all produce a harvest. It’s our choice on what we want that crop to be.

A T-shirt I got once from my physical therapist reminded me of the process of discipline as it said, “Work hard now and play hard later.” If we work hard now at disciplining ourselves and not taking lightly the discipline of the Lord or lose heart because of it the harvest of holiness and peace become our reward and the eternal salvation that accompanies them, a true blessing with a big payoff. Praise the Lord!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you Lord for caring enough to take the time to discipline your children. For not turning your back on us when we need you the most, understanding our shortcomings and being so willing to help us in those areas. Forgive us Lord for the times we don’t take your discipline well as we rebel in our attitudes and pout in our spirits as we turn our backs on the one person who truly cares if we grow up to turn out right, you Lord God. Thank you, Lord, for your loving eye seeing a worth in us that we often overlook or don’t even realize is there that is capable of producing a harvest of holiness. Amen.

© 2007 by Karen J. Gillett

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