By Crystal Williams
Discipline: (noun) – training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mind or moral character.
This word is not always my favorite. Discipline in today’s age has become uncomfortable for some of us to even address. Discipline hurts. Discipline reveals to us we are not perfect and need a little while longer under the refiner’s fire than we thought.
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11
When I was single, I lived in a duplex with a roommate. She had a previous Maltese that was as white as snow. This sweet, yet sassy, little dog was named Daisy. She was the cutest companion, but no dog is perfect and times would arise when she needed discipline.
Which is no different than me or you. Like Daisy, we all need discipline from time to time. Weird analogy, maybe. But God can teach us lessons through almost anything and I want to share a lesson about discipline that Daisy helped teach me.
Daisy was an indoor dog and was potty trained. She waited until we would take her outside to take care of business. However, lately she had this random phase of relieving herself INSIDE! No. Not okay. It drove my roommate and I nuts!
One time, after coming home from work, it had happened again and when I first spotted the mess, I yelled out, “DAISY!” I looked up and saw her sitting on our kitchen mat, tail tucked under her legs, ears down and her eyes said it all. She knew better. After my 3rd “NO!”, she began shaking. Daisy knew better and she also was aware of the consequences to this mistake. (Now, don’t think we were horrible dog owners or that we abused the dog, we didn’t. I mean just one look at her and your heart is stolen. She’s the cutest dog! There’s no way we could have ever hurt her.)
However, Daisy was disciplined for her action. There was a consequence to disobeying. Afterwards, she slowly followed behind me as I walked around the house. She did the same thing as I would after getting a spanking when I was a child, cry to mama or daddy.
Though Daisy was disciplined, she followed me and still desired to be around me because she knew I loved her, provided for her and cared for her. I didn’t like disciplining her but I still loved her.
I couldn’t help but still pay attention to her following behind me and give in to bending down and loving on her. Discipline is important and necessary but in the same way, God still pays attention to me and loves on me. He still desires to show me right from wrong.
God spoke to me in that moment and brought back to my attention my sin, my mistakes and my short comings. I am admitting that when I give in to the sin that can so easily entangles me, I desire nothing more than to be back in the safe arms of my Father. I realize the wrong I have done, I am aware there are consequences and that God cannot be mocked but even then I cannot stand to be away from my provider, my care taker and my true love.
“If we truly understood the Gospel, our sin wouldn’t keep us from the cross, but all the more draw us to it.”
God has unconditional love for us. Nothing can separate us. Now, please understand that I agree 100% with Paul when he is speaking to the church in the book of Romans about not continuing in sin because we know grace will abound. If you have read that passage before, I encourage you to read The Message version also, it paints a good picture.
“So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not!
If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!”
We all have lessons to learn. When God is showing me the parts of me that could use some refining, it’s not always fun. However, I know He disciplines me because He loves. This temporary suffering or discipline doesn’t compare to an eternity with my Creator. If you’ve done wrong, ask for forgiveness, let it go and cling to Jesus. Open up your heart and let God do what He does best. And never forget, He loves you.
Crystal Lee Williams
Hi, friends! My name is Crystal and I’m a church-planting pastor’s wife. I am wholly a Texas-loving, city girl with the life goal of communicating Jesus to the masses. I do this by writing, speaking, leading worship and mentoring other women. I enjoy time spent with my husband and yellow lab, running, traveling, sipping honey lattes, reading and all things social.
You can catch me blogging over at www.crystalleewilliams.com or follow me on social at @crystalleewilliams.