Discipline vs Wrath

2 Apr

Punishment is too broad of a word.

When a child does something wrong, he/she  may experience punishment.

When someone deeply offends you, you may want them to experience your wrath. 

But what about discipline? I heard an excellent definition of discipline the other day that I’d like to share with you.

Discipline holds a vision for the future. 

With this definition, discipline can take many different forms.

It could take the form of punishment for a disobedient child: If Parents have a vision for who they want their child to become, and the child’s actions don’t line up with that”vision for the future”…then the parent’s correct/punish/discipline their child.

Discipline also takes the form of boundaries: If I have a vision for how much I want to weigh in the future, then I will put boundaries in place that will help shape the path to my desired goal. These boundaries could look like regular exercise, limiting sugary foods, and not eating after 8pm. 

Wrath is very different than discipline. Instead of holding a vision for the future, wrath is driven (and sometimes blinded) by anger. When wrath is poured out, it is not hoping for reconciliation in the future. Wrath is focused on satisfying its anger. 

For those of us who are found in Christ, we know that we do not fear the wrath of God. God’s wrath was satisfied by Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross. We can take comfort in verses like Romans 8:1 “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ…”

But, we do have verses like Hebrews 12:6  “the Lord disciplines the one he loves…”

God loves you and has a vision of the future for what He wants you to be! He has prepared good works in advance for us to accomplish (Eph 2:10)! 

Take comfort in these words and remember  “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” -Hebrews 12:10-11

I hope this helps you as you are put in the place of administering discipline and also…

Don’t be afraid to Yield to discipline (whether from your parents, your boss, or God).


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