“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 12:11 (NIV)
You know what my least favorite part of parenting is? Disciplining my kids. It’s really hard for me sometimes to go through the struggle, opposition and upsetness (is that a word?), and all the while maintaining a calm and positive composure. But when I do it right, I’m focused on my kids’ development and what’s best for them long-term. I want them to learn the things that will benefit their future lives.
I wonder if that’s how God feels when He disciplines us? Part of Him hates disciplining us, but He loves knowing what we can be in the long-term. He loves the fruit He sees in our lives when we are trained by it.
Exercise can be like that. Sometimes there are days we’d rather be anywhere else but working out, but the long-term view keeps us there. Just today, I was NOT in the mood for doing bicep curls, but hope for future benefits kept me there. The discipline of working out is a faith exercise. (See July 9, 2014 blog entry.)
God has formed so much of life to grow our long-term view. Exercise is one. Parenting is another. Faith, of course, is the ultimate one. Most of our journey on earth is aimed to grow us and form us and benefit us for eternity. Most of this part of the journey is to prepare us for what is to come.
So how’s your long-term view? Does momentary pain prevent you from long-term gains? Does immediate inconvenience keep you from future benefits? I pray the promise of discipline for you and for me. Try using exercise as a platform to grow your long-term view … and allow all of yourself to be trained by it.