124 – God the Chastener

God chastens and chastises His children because He loves them. Like well groomed lawns and gardens are clipped and watered, God rears His children with boundaries, rules, rewards, and punishments.

Punishments make us cry, as do any hardships, deserved and unfair alike. If we cry from punishment guiding us to accept what we can’t control—including God’s decisions about how He wants us to live—then when the normal troubles and hardships of life come our way we won’t be disheartened.

Life has its challenges. The path requires effort to travel, overcome, finish a project, or dig through a mess to find gold—just the effort itself can lead us to tears.

If our parents punished us for being disobedient as children, we are not only obedient and self-disciplined to more formidably face our challenges; we won’t cry as much when tall challenges might otherwise wear us out.

God is the perfect parent, which means that He will spank us and put us on lockdown, of course to train us in self-control, but also to de-sissify us. His rules and desires on how we should live are, of course, incredibly brilliant, wonderful, ultra-desirable, and so good that no one could possibly have a better idea than His morals from above.

But, even the wisdom of God’s morals aside, just giving us pain to toughen us up is what any loving father should give.

The last thing a child needs is to get bit by a mosquito while crossing the street, lock up from the pain, and thus get run over by a car. Having thick skin is part of living a safe life. Good parents don’t pamper their children so much that the slightest hiccup leaves them emotionally undone.

Strength to bear hardship also means we’re strong enough to help others with their burdens. When someone near you has trouble, you may need to carry a double load; you may need to take a bullet or get whacked with a falling log to save someone. Your strong spine could save someone’s life.

Our own hardship is no license to “chasten” everyone around us. God Himself chastens His beloved because good fathers chasten their beloved children.