love and unintended consequences

Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? [Hebrews 12:7 NLT]

What do think of when you ponder the word 'discipline'? Perhaps visions of spankings or time-outs come to mind. It seems logical to us that a loving parent would do everything in their power to help their kids become disciplined adults. So they draw boundaries around their kids choices. As these boundaries are created consequences are given. If the child crosses the boundary they are disciplined.

I think that boundaries and consequences are what must be examined when we consider divine discipline. The idea of boundaries can be traced back to Genesis when God told Adam that there would be consequences if he ate of a specific tree. Adam ate and was forced to leave Eden. So for some it follows that everyone is disciplined by God in this very personal manner.

My thinking is that the account in Genesis is more allegorical than historical. The story is meant to teach us about ourselves and how bad choices can result in unintended consequences. In my view God generally disciplines us through natural consequences. Because he loves us God uses the consequences of our choices to bring discipline into our lives and make us disciples.

Open our eyes Lord to how you are bringing discipline into our lives.

... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Hebrews.

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