Fear God — Don’t Be Frightened by Him

Discipline is an ambiguous word, easily misunderstood because its two major applications are so at variance with one another.

Athletes are disciplined -- so also, should we be as children of God. It's not easy, but it doesn't have to be harsh. Photo credit Steve Henderson Fine Art.

Athletes are disciplined — so also, should we be as children of God. It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to be harsh. Photo credit Steve Henderson Fine Art.

In a good sense, discipline is what athletes do — training their bodies to achieve top performance through practice, hard work, persistence, attention to diet and daily living habits — in short, they demand much of themselves without approaching punishment. Anyone who chooses to do something well — fine art painting, knitting, gardening, cooking — disciplines themselves in such a way to achieve top performance.

In a bad sense, discipline involves hitting, striking, slapping, whipping, beating — something we associate wicked masters doing to slaves, or creepy reprobates inflicting upon dogs — and the ultimate goal is punishment as opposed to growth. This is not a diatribe upon spanking versus not spanking, so much as it is an observance that discipline — when its primary goal is punishment and/or humiliation — doesn’t work.

Please follow the link to read, The Discipline of God — something we dread because we tend to think that God thinks, and acts, the way we too frequently do. Quite mercifully, He is . . . merciful. I write regularly on Christianity at my BeliefNet column, Commonsense Christianity, and I would be delighted if you joined me there.

The Misfit Christian Book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com Live Happily on Less book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com Grammar Despair paperback and digital book at Amazon.com by Carolyn Henderson Step by Step Watercolor Success digital DVD workshop by Steve Henderson at Amazon.com

About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. She writes about life, art, and the art of life.
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