Charles Stanley

At the cross, the penalty for transgression was paid in full, and sin’s power over us was broken. Nevertheless, we still struggle with ungodliness in our lives. So how can we avoid behaviors that lead to divine discipline?

First, we can pursue God wholeheartedly. As we diligently study the Scriptures and apply them to our lives, we will learn what pleases and displeases Him. Second, we can join an evangelical church and find godly people who will hold us accountable for our actions. Sometimes the right advice is all that is needed to prevent a misstep.

To avoid the necessity of the Lord’s discipline, we can also practice spiritual self-examination. This can be done individually (1 Cor. 11:28) and corporately. Examining our thought life, speech, and actions in light of Scripture uncovers areas of ungodliness. First John 1:9 instructs us to confess our iniquities to the Lord. Genuine confession means to agree with God that His way is right and what we are doing is wrong. Repentance is to follow confession—this involves changing our actions and attitude so they line up with God's Word.

Because we aren’t perfect, not all discipline can be avoided. When we sin, we need to humble ourselves quickly, admit our wrong behavior, and adjust our ways.

Believers needn’t fear God's discipline. Our Father never responds to us with wrath or condemnation. His correction may hurt, but it brings great spiritual benefit. We’ll find it easier to avoid pitfalls that lead to divine discipline if we pursue a lifestyle of righteousness and godliness (1 Timothy 6:11).

Taken from “How to Avoid Divine Discipline” by In Touch Ministries (used by permission).