ヘブル 12:7 訓練と思って耐え忍びなさい。神はあなたがたを子として扱っているのです。父が懲らしめることをしない子がいるでしょうか。

In the world today, there are probably many people who have indeed never been disciplined by their fathers. Their fathers were either completely absent, or whatever discipline there was, was handled by their mothers. This is a major part of what has been call the “father wound” that is born by so many today. In Japan this is compounded by the lack of a word that means exactly “discipline.” There are various words that touch on different aspects of it, and Japanese Bible translations work around it with words like “training” and “punishment,” as in this verse, but there is no single word that carries the meaning of the Greek term, that has been carried over into English. The word “discipline” is closely linked to “disciple,” which is a valid word and concept in Japanese, but there is nothing that would allow such constructs as, for example, self discipline. That can make it very difficult for Japanese to understand that sometimes God is disciplining them to make them more like His Son Jesus, but that the punishment for their sins has already been born by that same Jesus. This often creates a distorted outlook on the difficulties of life. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) It's hard to “take heart” if we think God is beating on us all the time.


As a pastor in Japan in the 21st Century I have to deal with all aspects of this all the time. Many, if not most, of the people around me bear the “father wound” to some degree, and their concept of God is distorted accordingly. I've got to get past the idea that loving parents spoil their children (a very common idea in Japan) to help people understand that it is precisely because God is the perfect Father that He does not spoil us. He delights to give us good things, and He is certainly loving and compassionate, but He cares enough about us to discipline us, to take us out of the traps of the devil and free us to be all that He created us to be. Communicating that is obviously beyond my human ability, but nothing is impossible for God. I must got give up or lose hope, but make myself available at all times and in all ways so that He can use me to reveal Himself and His nature to those around me.


God, thank You for the human father You gave me, and especially for being my heavenly Father. Thank You for Your gentleness and patience with me, and Your discipline. Help me recognize Your discipline and not “kick against the goads,” as You told Paul (Acts 26:14). Help me have Your loving compassion toward those around me, working with them to help them overcome the various traps of the enemy, so that together we may rise up as the Body of Christ that You created us to be, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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