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Proverbs 3:11-12

My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

When I was a kid and did something wrong that warranted a spanking, on the other side of the punishment my dad would always ask me, “Why did I just spank you?” In a sheepish tone I would reply, “Because I did something wrong?” “No” my father would say. “Because you are mad at me?” I queried. “No” my father would answer. Begrudgingly, I would eventually get to the right answer. “Because you love me?” With a gentle tone my dad would retort, “That’s right, son. I disciplined you because I love you and want the best for you.”

I don’t know if my dad knew today’s verses at the time, but he sure got the concept. The spankings still hurt (most of the time), but the motive behind them was reassuring. I like what My Daily Bread opens with on this one:

We should be far more afraid of being left alone than of God’s chastening, for He wastes no time on worthless objects that give no promise of fruitfulness.

It is important to remember that God’s discipline is not punishment, per se. All of that was put on Christ at the cross. Perhaps a better word would be correction, which can come in the form of guilty feelings, unpleasant circumstances, feeling unsettled, relationship trouble, or any number of other results of sinful choices. God uses these things as course corrections that should put us back on the path to holiness, peace, and even safety. We would do well to take our spanking and follow His lead because it means He loves us!

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