|“Your reactions reveal more about your holiness than your actions, for the latter can be motivated by a variety of things other than true holiness. You may want to conform out of fear of what other people may say or think. Thus purity, in the final analysis, is first and foremost an issue of the heart. God lives in you to help you become holy, but the process requires your cooperation.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter Henrichsen
“For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:6
Do not confuse discipline and mercy. When you discipline a person and it is suggested that you show mercy, someone is not thinking biblically. The objective of mercy is withholding justice. The objective of discipline is correction, not justice. Justice is the objective of punishment. Godly behavior is the objective of correction.
Some people reason that the discipline prescribed by Paul in I Corinthians 5, which includes excommunication, does not apply to family members. The first reason given by Paul for the discipline is “that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”26 If the objective of discipline is redemption, why would you wish to exclude a family member? Biblical discipline has as its motive love and what is best for the offender.
You do not punish the sinner. You forgive him. Punishment for his sin has been transferred to Christ. Thus your objective is provoking him to godliness. The execution of biblical discipline must be viewed through this lens.
Correction is not punishment and punishment is not correction. The goals are different. Anytime you confuse the two you not only err biblically, but also stand a good chance of not obtaining your objective. When faced with the need to confront aberrant behavior, ask yourself, “Am I seeking correction or punishment?” You are not ready to confront until you can from your heart say to the Lord that your objective is correction.
26 I Corinthians 5:5
Genesis 46-48 Matthew 13:1-30 (New King James Version)
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2
Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
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