It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. (Psalm 119:71)
We live in an age that views discipline of almost any form as a dirty word, as morally reprehensible. As a result, whether it be corporal punishment, holding children back a grade, remaining firm in our threats of punishment (and not continuing to say, “Don’t do that or…” and then doing nothing), all the way to the lax laws of many of our Western lands for all ages; is it any wonder that the fruit is not goodness for us but our distress?
I recently was told the distressing first hand story of a young child who half-jokingly threatened to urinate on his mother’s leg. She put him off three times saying, “don’t be silly.” Finally, he did it, and she did nothing about it! Complete liberty with no restraint is the perfect formula concocted by Satan for pride to ferment and flourish. How much of society’s woes result from a lack of restraint, a lack of discipline, an indulgence in the self?
But discipline, and its benefits, are not merely social but spiritual and God given. The Psalmist tells us discipline is a positive thing when the Lord disciplines us through various and challenging forms of His providence.
Hebrews 12:5–6 says:
My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. (Heb 12:5–6, c.f. Prov 3:11–12).
This uses the language of the discipline of children (instruction, training and correction), in the context of spiritual perseverance, as an analogy to teach us to respect and to submit to the will of God in the adversities that we face. Such discipline is a precious mercy for through it we learn to hate sin and be instructed in His way, a way that leads to life and not death.
A friend of mine recently shared with me a quote:
Sin is never so bitter, and holiness is never so sweet, as when our troubles are greatest and our dangers highest. By afflictions the Lord teaches his people to sit loose from this world, and to make sure the great things of that other world. By affliction God shews his people the vanity, vexation, emptiness, weakness, and nothingness of the creatures, and the choiceness, preciousness, and sweetness of communion with himself, and of interest in himself. – Thomas Brooks (Puritan author, 1608–80).
So if you are facing chastisement today in any way, do not reject it as the world does, but submit to it under the Lord’s strength and be blessed and be changed.
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,
 This probably arose from abuses of discipline, namely divorcing it from being done lovingly and to a loving end.
 Only one tool for parenting, not in any way the tool (ex. Prov 13:24, 23:13-14).
 Prov 12:1, 13:18.