To gain a deeper understanding of the loving nature of God’s discipline, try to remember your own childhood. Maybe you heard these familiar words from a parent or guardian: “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” Back then, you probably did not appreciate or even believe that sentiment. Nor did you comprehend the true meaning until you became an adult. Discipline is painful for both the recipient and the administrator, but the benefits outweigh the suffering.
Good parents love their children enough to look beyond their immediate comfort and work toward a more beneficial long-term goal—the transformation of foolish, self-centered juveniles into wise, loving adults. The heavenly Father is working in the same way to mature His children. Divine discipline is a necessary part of the process and an expression of His goodness and love.
Although God knows the most effective means of disciplining us, the outcome is influenced by our attitudes and responses. We can choose to submit and be trained by it, or we can rebel and waste the opportunity to grow in Christlikeness. God is always working for our good, but by choosing our own way, we reject His best and grieve His heart.
If you don’t align your thinking with the truth of Scripture, the pain and suffering of divine discipline may produce the sour fruit of a bitter attitude, an angry heart, and a distorted view of God. Instead, trust in His perfect will and choose to be teachable. He will produce the fruit of righteousness in your life.