Tim Cole: The difference in discipline

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Despise not the chastening of the Lord. The God who corrects us is the one who loves us and delights in us. God is reminding us that we are His children and He is our Father. When discipline is real, love is at the very core of it. From God’s perspective discipline is always to nurture, to train in righteous, to bring healing and restoration where there is a problem.

True discipline addresses the problem. Abuse attacks the person. True discipline is done with respect. Abuse has no concept about what the word “respect” means. True discipline is rooted in love for the person and their development. Abuse is filled with anger and rage. True discipline leaves the person with a sense of well-being. Abuse leaves a person with a feeling of worthlessness. True discipline instills the reality of being made in the image of God. Abuse destroys healthy self image. True discipline establishes personhood. Abuse takes individuality away. True discipline instills value for godly authority. Abuse embitters the spirit, destroying healthy thinking, feelings, and actions.

I know a Brother in Christ who is constantly condemning himself. Every time I see him he is talking about how God has been on his case. There is no grace evident in his life even though his life shows he loves God.

After God disciplines us it brings the peaceable fruit of righteousness, not condemnation.

How does the little child inside get healed?

1) Forgiveness. The first step in healing is to forgive the person who hurt you. They were wrong. Don’t defend them, excuse their actions, take up for them, or deny the wrong done to you. They were wrong. Now forgive that person. You might say, “I can’t.” God can help you. God will enable you to forgive. Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. When you forgive you are releasing that person from your judgment and putting them in God’s hands so He can move in their life. Forgiveness also releases you from the torment, resentment, and emotional problems that can result from unforgiveness, and allow healing to come to you.

2) Healing of the human spirit. Next lift up your hands and release to God all the resentment, hatred, bitterness, hurt, and fear that has been hidden in your heart. Ask God to cleanse it out and take it away through the blood of Jesus. Then ask God to heal your human spirit, your inner most being.

3) Allow God to father you. Ask God to surround you with His love. Allow Him to hold you in His arms of love and love the hurt away and bring healing to you. Study the scriptures about God being our Father and about the love of God. Meditate on them and internalize them. Ask God to father you with his love.