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Puppy Training: Day 4

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.
Hebrews 12:11
 “The most effective discipline occurs quickly and sharply during the misbehavior.” It must be firm enough to get the message through… all discipline is immediately followed by praise and reassurance as good canine mothers and fathers never hold a grudge.

In a perfect world (and we know about this because there actually was one of those), discipline isn’t necessary. All creation knows and does only what is good, right and beneficial. The world we live in has thorns, thistles and lots of bad choices attractively packaged and readily available—for both puppies and people.

As the verse says, “no discipline seems pleasant at the time,” but discipline is not punishment. The unpleasant aspect of discipline is meant to shape our choices away from the dangers of the world to the good God intends. That is why canine parents show approval and why human parents dispense good words and good things as a reward for desired improvement. In each case—whether they realize it or not-- they are imitating the way God does things.

Godly discipline is designed to lead us away from the present and into a better future. True discipline has one outcome: to re-form us into a new image for a new and better purpose.

Imagine a piece of wood being shaved to a point by the whittler’s knife. If it could talk, it would complain about the pain and “loss of self” as the shavings fell away. But at the end of the process, the whittler’s effort would reveal a hidden shaft of carbon running the length of the wood. In the hands of an artist, that piece of wood could become a drawing instrument capable of creating art of great beauty. The whittler’s purpose was not to inflict loss, but to reveal a higher purpose hidden in the wood.  

Nancy Shirah

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