The Difficulty of discipline (II Corinthians 7)

“For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it, for I see that letter grieved you, though only for a while.”  II Cor. 7:8

“I tossed and turned all night as I considered my meeting the next day.  I went over the reasons why I had to have this meeting and often I tried to talk myself out of it, but Biblically I could not.  I rehearsed over and over what I would say in the meeting.  Then suddenly the alarm went off and it was time for me to follow through.”

This scene has been played over and over in my 21 years as a pastor.  Often I have had to meet with people with the subject of discipline before us.  There have also been times when I have been in the other seat of being disciplined.

Even though discipline is difficult, it is one of the most needed parts of a person’s Christian development.  Maybe you are struggling to understand this?  If so, consider Paul’s teaching in II Corinthians 7.  Here Paul is specifically speaking to a church that he was exercising discipline with.  In other blogs we have chronicled the background.  This church needed to come to a place of repentance.  As we read this chapter we come away with this reality, “It is Godly sorrow that leads to repentance.”

Without Godly discipline the church will never see it’s need of being held accountable for its actions and attitudes.  II Corinthians 7 is and excellent read for anyone who has charge of other people.

This very day you maybe are a parent who is wondering how to deal with a child who has a rebellious heart? It is discipline that will lead to repentance.

This very day you maybe are and employer who is struggling with employee’s?  If so it is discipline that will lead to repentance.

This very day you could have a friend who is living a lifestyle of sin?  If so discipline in accountability is the answer.

Finally, you could be the one who needs discipline?  If so, you are like me.  I challenge you to receive discipline with thankfulness and with repentance.

Because of discipline Paul had, in his own words, “Perfect confidence in the church at Corinth.”  Because of discipline I believe everything you are facing can be resolved.

One last footnote, “We discipline out of a heart of love, I Timothy 1:5-8.”  One who disciplines has to be pure of heart and filled with love.  Without it we will be legalistic people who discipline for conformity instead of for Christ-centeredness.

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