Further Thoughts on Why God Disciplines Us as His Children (Hebrews 12:3-13)

By Jason McConahy,

This weekend we covered Hebrews 12:3-13 in our worship gathering, and we tackled the difficult concept of the "discipline" that God brings into our lives as our loving, Heavenly Father.  While the word "discipline" refers to the entire training of a child, we tend to reduce its meaning to "punishment" based upon our earthly experiences - a conclusion that hinders us from seeing the beauty of this passage.  I suggested that while God may bring discipline (or training) into our lives as a result of sin, it is never to punish us for our sin, but rather as His loving and purposeful way of rooting sin out of us.  This is the emphasis of the text - "that we may share His holiness" (vs. 10).  How does this emphasis impact our understanding of this passage?  More importantly, how does this emphasis impact our view of God?  To stir some thinking, consider the difference between the following two options...

God brings discipline into our lives as punishment for sin

vs.

God brings discipline into our lives as training for holiness

What is the difference between these two emphases?

How do these two statements impact the way you view God (your Heavenly Father)?