“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:11-12).
For those of us who are parents this passage resonates. We know the acorn does not fall far from the tree and those little gifts from heaven, left unchecked in their natural state, can become little demons. To the degree our parents loved us, they disciplined us.
One of my daughters recently apologized to her mother for the times as a young child she behaved as a little brat. Having several children of her own now, she has recognized the challenge of parenting little people who have a definite will of their own and often hold to ideas which are wrong, harmful and downright dangerous. Thank God, he has given us the Bible as a parenting manual to encourage our children in the right direction.
The Scriptures relate our heavenly Father treats us like His little children, and because He loves us He too must discipline. The writer of Hebrews says it this way. “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, (children without a father) and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:5-8). One of the evidences we are a child of God is when we are caught in sin – doing something we ought not do – God corrects us.
As we consider 2017, are their areas in our lives which require corrective action on the part of God? Is it not true life is much easier for our children when they correct themselves before we as parents have to intervene? Would life not be easier and more pleasant for us if we took an honest assessment of how we are living and took our own corrective action? When children are bent in the wrong direction, a loving parent cares enough to confront. When a child of God fails to deal with contrary issues in their life, his loving Father also cares enough to confront him.
Loving discipline is therapeutic. It keeps our old Adamic sinful selves in check. Life God’s way is a whole lot easier and wholesome than our own crooked paths. Father always knows best. If only we could simply rest in His way.
In 2017, we should pray this same prayer King David prayed if we want to have a successful year. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Because of His Loving Care for Us,
Pastor John Schofield