My husband and I have been in major remodeling mode since we moved into our “finisher-upper” a year ago. It’s been one home improvement project after another. The past four months, our focus has primarily been on finishing our basement. (I say, “we” loosely. Jason and his contractor friend have been doing most of the work. My contribution comes in the form of asking them to recreate pictures I found on Pinterest.) On Sunday evening, our family wrote Scriptures on the concrete floor as a way to symbolize that our foundation is the Word of God.
Yesterday, we laid carpet over our verses.
We have all been counting down the days for the carpet installation. The rest of the floors in our house are hardwood, which the children do not consider comfortable for playing. After the kids went to bed, Jason and I found ourselves just lying on the carpet. We saved up intentionally for this purchase so that we could afford a thick pad and plush carpet.
Years ago we bought new carpet for the home we were living in at the time. We chose the cheapest pad and the thinnest carpet possible. It didn’t take long for us to notice that you could feel the sharp tacks poking through at every transition point. If you stepped on the carpet a certain way, your foot would significantly bleed. After a few weeks of living under those conditions, we began to train ourselves to avoid the painful pokes. We were quite comical looking, taking running leaps into every room and only walking in the very center portion of the stairs. We began to think differently, like how our brain tells our bodies to stay away from an open flame, our thoughts told our toes to steer clear of certain areas of the room.
It is natural and innate to avoid pain.
As a whole, people tend to run from or avoid hurtful situations, but sometimes we become so focused on our comfort that we miss maturing as children of God. We intentionally take a running leap over a painful lesson the Lord wants to teach us or walk on the opposite side of correction.
God isn’t a masochist or sadist who derives pleasure from pain.
He is a perfect father who knows the benefits of discipline.
Parents correct a child for the child’s own good. Without the uncomfortable and somewhat painful discipline of a parent, a child would never learn how to obey or stay safe. In an even better way than the most honorable earthly parent, God reproves and corrects us only for our own good. If you’re like me, you train yourself to avoid all emotional and spiritual pain.
God’s Word encourages the opposite:
They (earthly fathers) disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 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 12:10-11
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. ~ Proverbs 12:1
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:27
Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. ~ Deuteronomy 8:5
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. ~ Revelations 3:19
Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. ~ Job 5:17
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. ~ John 15:2
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law… ~ Psalm 94:12
But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:32
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. ~Proverbs 3:11-12
Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.~ Proverbs 10:17
Perhaps your parents did not reflect the Lord in their style of correction. Maybe they reacted out of anger, were mean with their words, or lacked self-control and love. Spiritual discipline, while painful, is never accusing, condemning, or abusive. It is tender and for our benefit. God wants to conform us into the image of His Son and direct our steps into holiness. At times that will feel as if we are stepping on carpet tacks (or worse), but the outcome won’t be our bloody feet. Instead, we will be reflecting the One whose hands and feet bled for us.
In What Areas Are You Avoiding the Lord’s Discipline?