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Let us examine this subject from the biblical point of view. Does God really discipline His children? Noticed I did not use the word ‘punish’ in this chapter. The reason is because to be disciplined and to be punished are two different words. The word punishment is kind of harsh in that sense of the usage. Punishment involves inflicting pain, suffering or loss that serves as retribution as a result of what a person had done. For instance, a judge may declare that a person be punished with ‘death’ as a result of taking another man’s life. In that instance, that is the punishment for the crime. But discipline is milder than that. It is the process of showing the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The question then is: does God discipline his children? The answer is yes.
The bible says in Hebrews 12:6 that “for those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives”. If God truly is your father, and that you have come to fully accept him as your God, Lord and savior, then you can’t escape being disciplined. People have asked me a couple of times: with what is it that the Lord disciplines us as his children? Does he use whip or does He make use of something terrible to happen to us? The answer is no. God does not whip us, neither does he uses terrible things to happen to us or befall us because he is disciplining us. It is the devil that plants such consciousness into the hearts of men. The devil always wants you to believe that when something terrible happens, God is punishing you for an offense; that is not true.
Whenever God wants to correct or disciplines his children, he makes use of his word. God will not come down from heaven and whip your back with strokes of cane, He corrects through his word. 2nd Timothy 3:16 make us to understand that the word of God does many things, and one of them is correction. So, if you have nurtured that thought up till now that God punishes you with sickness, diseases and all of those things; this is the time you might want to renew your mind and start seeing God differently. There are a number of ways you can know when God is correcting you through His word. Have you ever experienced a situation where you stumbled on the word of God concerning a situation in your life and then, you probably lost your peace until you have effected or make amends? That is how God corrects: He impresses His word upon your heart until you have done the right things.
At those instances when you are still struggling with that instruction, you may lose your peace; you may even find it difficult to concentrate on anything until you have done the right thing. That is how God disciplines- He will open your eyes to see what you are supposed to do or be doing. And in case you have noticed what follows when you have done what the bible says you should, it is usually peace of mind that follows. That is always the end results of God’s discipline through his word. Hebrews 12:11 says: “all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruits of righteousness”. The end result of every discipline process is that people see the fruits that it bears.
So from the above, it can be clearly seen that the bible encourages discipline and God Himself disciplines us: not with whips or hunger or sickness and diseases- no! God disciplines us via his word.