“God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His 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: 10b – 11
What is holiness? Holiness means to be set apart in character, spirit, values or priorities. It means to be more like God. Since God is holy and we are not, it’s natural that there will be tension as followers of Jesus struggle to grow, learn and mature in faith. The journey towards becoming more like God isn’t easy. For children of God, we will experience consequences and discipline when we veer off course. It’s part of the way God shapes us into holiness like Him.
The Bible compares God’s discipline to that of a loving, earthly father who disciplines his child in order to help him grow into a strong, independent, and wise adult. Even though this father loves his children dearly, he will not always rush to their rescue. Instead, he will love them by disciplining them and lovingly guiding them through life’s consequences. This is a father’s love.
In the same way, our Heavenly Father disciplines His children out of love. It’s not because He’s a mean Father, but because He loves us and wants the very best for our lives. Just like the prophet Jonah who tried to run from God and ended up three days in the belly of a fish before heading back on course.
When we run from God, we will be pursued. God will get our attention. And when we hit rock bottom and we’ve tried every other option – God will be right there, ready to love and guide us through the consequences of our actions. He just won’t quit shaping us into what He has created us to be – a child that is more and more like His Father.