Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

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))

Think about this statement.

Have you ever attempted to get in shape physically only to hurt in places that you didn’t even know could hurt? You probably thought seriously about reversing your decision to get in shape, only to later be thankful that you stuck with it.

This was self-discipline. How much more do we detest discipline that is imposed upon us? It is very painful to go through something knowing that you cannot do anything to change it, yet, afterward, it feels good to have survived it and to have “grown” from the experience. Perhaps this is the best example of the old saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” When we are in the middle of the discipline, we do not see the rewards or the long term goal. All we see is the immediate pain. We fail to understand the big picture, just as the bigger “forest” cannot be seen because we focus too much on the individual “trees.”

It is a matter of perspective. If we focus on the discipline, then we will become bitter and angry and overly exaggerate the pain. If we focus on the results, then the pain of the discipline takes a lesser position within our current situation, for we focus on the bigger picture.

God desires to mature each of us, and this will mean that each of us will go through some discipline. How we handle this discipline is a matter of focus and perspective. The bigger picture is becoming more like Jesus. The smaller picture is the pain and the discomfort that it causes “me” at this very moment.

What is your perspective?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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