William Hague once said, “Let’s not be afraid to speak the common sense truth: you can’t have high standards without good discipline.”
I can’t help but believe there is a lot of truth in that statement. But as a God fearing Church going man, I might have said it a little differently – let us not be afraid to seek and speak Gods Truth: you can’t have high standards without good discipline. For I know that God is the standard setter. He alone discerns what is good and what is evil. That which is moral or immoral. What is Right and what is wrong. And yet scripture says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “the wages of SIN is death”.
From this one cannot help but see if we have any hope of fellowship with a Holy and Righteous God we need a heaping helping of two things Grace and loving Discipline. Grace because we cannot self-justify our sins for Christ alone can atone and justify our sins and loving Discipline to help us keep from backsliding once grace has begun its redemptive work.
Now as Disciples in the Body of Christ we well know that we are called to a higher standard. “Walk in the light as he is in the light” and “Be ye holy for the Lord your God is holy” immediately come to mind. I don’t think any Christians would argue this point. So what in the world has happened to discipline? How have we arrived at this juncture where discipline is either absent or despised in the Church. How have we arrived at this juncture where the Church has lowered its high calling and standards to mirror the worldly? I will tell you – no accountability and lack of discipline, pure and simple.
Godly discipline strengthens the heart and soul so that it may be protected from the corroding influence of Sin! Revelation 3:19 “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
In the verse above, Jesus is telling the church at Laodicea that He loves them enough to discipline or reprove them. Jesus’ discipline is a gift to them so that they would zealously repent. Those whom Jesus loves – He disciplines. This shows us that God will discipline us in order that we might repent of some enduring sin we might have in our life. Now it can be tough to endure discipline at times but apathy or indifference by the Church is even worse because it says no one cares enough to discipline them and that reveals a lack of natural affection or love which Paul wrote would be typical in the latter days (2 Tim 3:3).
“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (Heb 12:7-8)
Isn’t it wonderful to be treated as beloved sons and daughters? “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:” Proverbs 3:11
For the Church to have any real appeal to the the world it is imperative we both know and resemble Jesus Christ. For us to get where we need to be, Christ likeness, it will require plenty of both grace and loving discipline. Don’t fret it – just remember, Discipline is part of Gods love language!