Some of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned came through making mistakes. I had parents who loved me enough to rebuke and correct me when I got things wrong – especially when I had done something deliberately, knowing it was wrong! I never felt as though I was being punished unfairly when I was ‘told off’ in love. While I didn’t like the experience, I knew it was just and fair and for my own good.
Once, however, at school, I was punished for something I hadn’t done and I felt the deep pain of injustice on the inside. There was nothing I could do to prove my innocence and I had to take my punishment – a compulsory cross-country run, followed by a prefect on a bicycle! But even today, although the person who punished me unfairly has long been forgiven, I can still sense the feelings of injustice I had at the time.
Correct and fair discipline is good for us. We can learn so much through the experience of being rightly corrected. I fear that in our very liberal society, we are growing a generation of children who will not have the privilege of becoming wise through loving rebuke. We are sowing a wind, and in time we will reap a whirlwind of consequence.
God is the very best of fathers. He knows when we need encouragement and also when we need the rebuke of love. He doesn’t want us to miss out on learning the vital lessons of life – and even when He rebukes us, it is a form of encouragement! There may be times when He uses the events of life to bring His discipline into our circumstances. When that happens, let’s not rebel against His love, but thank Him that He really cares for us and carefully note the lesson He has been teaching us, so that the discipline will contribute to our growing in maturity.
Prayer: Thank you Father God, that You love me enough to bring correction into my life when I need it. Help me always to remember the lessons You teach me in love, so that I may grow up into the maturity of really knowing and serving You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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