“The Lord has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death.” (Ps 118:18) As I read this I can’t help but think about a time in my life where I could have made this statement. When have I ever felt affliction in my life, and rather than blaming it on my health or the economy I have been able to clearly or should I say boldly declare it as a discipline from God? Often times when we think of God we enjoy reflecting on His love and Mercy and how tender of a Father He is, while we do forget that all those things in their greatest form include discipline.
Love in it's greatest form, is sacrificial, it puts its reputation on the line in order to see another succeed. Often times when someone corrects another, they receive ridicule, loose respect, and may sacrifice their own name to ensure another person does what is right. Mercy, either sides itself with making sure feelings arenâ€™t hurt, or making sure growth happens. At times, a person of mercy must choose between temporarily hurting some feelings while an offended person receives correction, or be more concerned with that personâ€™s present feelings, causing future pain in repeated failure. Both which are mercy to a degree. And the tenderheartedness of a father canâ€™t stand to see their child live in continual failure, so they discipline when needed and create an environment that spurs growth through correction. If a dad continually let their child get away with everything, we plainly see that the man is more concerned with being popular with his kid, than seeing them corrected and live a truly better life. The love of a father corrects, disciplines and encourages growth.
Do we overlook the idea that God may in fact be at times correcting us because He does love us more deeply than we know. What I want to know is how does God discipline in this way in my life, in your life? David must have been feeling some pain here, it couldn’t have been a simple slap on the wrist, and he says basically “this may seem like harsh discipline, but its better than death.” Will you stop with me and consider this | God still disciplines us in order that we will not live in continual failure, but how, when and what does it look like?
Then finally, once we see it as Gods discipline, how do we respond?