In any crisis of life, we get to choose our pain. We can either choose the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Let me illustrate.
A married couple comes to see me because their marriage is in the dumps. Communication is low. Fighting is high. Individual needs are not being met. Though not a trained therapist, I have the experience of being married to the same woman for twenty-nine years and more than twenty-five years as a pastor.
After each spouse shares his or her perspective on what’s wrong with the relationship and how they got to this place in their marriage, I always ask, “What are you willing to do to fix this relationship?” Typically, this question catches them off guard, yet it is fundamental to any healing and restoration.
I then tell them that they get to choose their pain. They can choose the pain of discipline by seeing a counselor, joining a small group, attending a marriage conference. Or they can choose the pain of regret -- getting a divorce, sharing custody of the children, losing half their stuff! They choose: pain or regret?
[King] David messes up big time by misusing his power as king and getting another man’s wife pregnant. (2 Samuel 11) He could choose the pain of discipline and ‘fess up. It would have been ugly, but resolution might have come. … Instead, he chooses more regret. He sets a plan to have the unassuming and innocent husband of Bathsheba killed. His choice multiplies the injustice and pain.
What will you choose today -- the pain of discipline or the pain of regret? Both hurt. Only one heals.
-- Jorge Acevedo in The Upper Room Disciplines 2012: A Book of Daily Devotions. © 2011 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission.