A Biblical Teaching About Christian Discipline
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles (v.1)
To endure discipline, we have to throw off everything that hinders. This means that we have to get rid of things that we already know that causes us to stumble. Getting rid means stopping if we are sinning.
It may also mean repentance and submission to authorities. After all, the purpose of discipline is restoration and not condemnation. Getting rid of these may not be easy, and we may even think of compromising what we believe so that we may not suffer. But truths in the Bible will always remain as truths.
Let us run the race with perseverance (v.1)
Running the race with perseverance is with the idea of finishing the race. Even though no matter of how tired we are, we have to continue running the race that was marked out for us. No matter how tired we are, we have to continue setting our foot for another step.
We need to have the intention and desire to finish the race. Otherwise, there is totally no use of our hardships.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (v.2)
There is nothing more encouraging to finish the race than to see what is ahead of us. We all know that competitors race not to lose the race but to finish the race. No one that does not finish the race gets the prize. Only those who perseveringly finishes the race that gets the prize.
Quitters never win, and quitters never have the prize. The Bible is very clear in giving us one of the secrets of winning the race. That is fixing our eyes on Jesus. Not turning to right or to the left. The more we side track, the more difficult will it get for us to finish the race.
Let us be encouraged that we are God’s sons and daughters (v.4-6)
By looking at discipline in a postive point of view, we can learn that discipline is not really bad but a show of love of God for us. He wants us to be holy, he wants us to be righteous in all our ways. Thus, discipline is just a tool for re-alignment of our attitude, character, and our inner being. When God disciplines, we even have to thank him for that we know that we are his sons and daughters. Just like Jonah after God’s discipline obeyed God, thus, many more people accepted the Lord.
The Bible is clear enough in saying;
“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1Peter 1:16).
Let us endure hardships as discipline (v.7-11)
Hardships are just a natural part of our spiritual lives. Without hardship, our life is dull, empty, we can learn nothing. Hardship sometimes is annoying. Sometimes, all we wish is to die so that our hardships will be over. We don’t want to face it and as much as possible, we want to escape from it.
But the Bible does not instruct us to give up. He does not want us to give in to the world. Instead, God wants us to always work harder and give our lives to him, enduring hardships that we face in him.