The Mercy, Discipline & Love Connection
I’ve been gulping down mercy in overwhelming doses because I have desperately needed it. As I press into God, I see my great need for His mercy and I understand that His discipline is an act of mercy and love. His holiness exposes my brokenness. But this God I serve calls me higher to a place of wholeness. I don’t say this from a desolate state, but more from a place of great hope and gratitude.
As I see His mercy on display toward me, it has forced me to look inward and ask the hard question. Have I been merciful to others, or am I apt to give them what they deserve? As of late, God has been using my parenting to give me the answer to this question. There are some days where my children excel at messing up instead of lining up with my commands.
While discipline is very much for the godly, I realize that love must drive my discipline and not revenge-there is a difference. Being merciful does not mean that there is an absence of discipline. However, being merciful means when I discipline, it is with the intention to facilitate restoration and to bring out the good and not dwell on the bad (i.e. constantly repeating your offense because I am disappointed in your behavior).
God is a good parent and a great example for me to follow because if I am honest, there are some days where like my children, I excel at not lining up with His commands. I see His mercy demonstrated in His discipline because He could cut me off altogether, which is what I deserve. He could constantly keep my sins on repeat, reminding me of how I have disappointed Him. But because I am His and I am loved, He disciplines me, not intending to shame me but so I can share in his holiness. Hebrews 11:11 reminds me that, “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.” I am so grateful for a God who is merciful and intentional in His discipline and provides a great example for me to follow.
About the Author
Anika Jones is a speaker and author of the book Lessons Learned Along The Way: A 40 Day Devotional. She blogs about faith and family at LivingForLater.com and posts weekly videos on her YouTube channels, Living For Later (@livingforlater) and Living Life Now (@livinglifenow). Anika loves speaking about developing intimacy with God and understanding who we are in Christ. She serves alongside her husband in ministry. They live in Illinois with their 6 children.