“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons;
for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?” Heb12:7
As children we grew in the fear of corporal punishment be it at home or school. At teenage and adulthood even a verbal reprimand would not be tolerated. In spite of our feelings we would meekly welcome such correction from parents, teachers and elderly which has disciplined and matured us to live normal lives. Nowadays parents and teachers are advised to take a more practical approach while dealing with children. Unfortunately, what was considered wrong or vile in our grandparents’ time is now accepted and legalized in the guise of tolerance. The pursuits of worldly expectations have led to less attention to children which has resulted in them diverting to internet games and involvement in various social evils. Nevertheless, we would all agree in unison to the fact that if a child is not loved, cared and disciplined and not brought up in reverence to our living God, we are paving the way to bringing up anti social elements in the society.
From the above verse in Heb12:7 it is clear that God expects our earthly fathers to discipline us, which is necessary for us to understand God’s chastening. God wants us to understand that we are His own beloved children and His discipline is out of His love and care for us. He is our heavenly Father and loves us like His own Son Jesus Christ. He wants us to be holy (pure) because He is holy and does not want us to miss His promised eternal life with Him. Chastening proves God’s love for us and His love is based on our relationship with Him as His children. Although He forgives our mistakes He still watches over us like our own father in order not to deviate from His purpose for us. Its our responsibility to build a strong and personal relationship with God so we could submit even our smallest desire and plans to be led according to His perfect will for us.
Prov 13:24 mentions “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him”. This verse indicates God’s loving nature towards us. The rod in Biblical times was mainly used by shepherds to guide their sheep and protect them from danger, not to hit them. God makes us realise that our relationship with Him is the same as between a Shepherd and his sheep. A spanking from parents deters the child from repeating mistakes. Parents’ punishment is always in the best interest of their children. The child is trained to distinguish between what is right and wrong and to choose the best out of the right. Therefore, we must consider it a privilege and be in reverence of God’s presence and loving kindness towards us when we have to endure His chastisement for God does not allow us to bear more than we can endure. God’s incomparable love towards us is evident from His sacrificing His own Son Jesus Christ for us so we would believe in Him and not be lost in the hands of satan.
There are times when in spite of praying we may not see or feel an immediate deliverance and we think God does not hear us nor see our suffering. This is the time when God silently observes our reaction and how we handle our adversity. We are advised in 1Thess5:16-17 to pray unceasingly, giving thanks to Him in all circumstances and in doing so the Holy Spirit reminds us that we are being held in God’s arms and that we ought to confess our wrongs or shortcomings. God sees our heart, our very thoughts and plans. He will admonish us and bring us back to the right path to remain under His protection. God’s chastisement moulds us to His likeness and gives us the wisdom to seek His will first at every step of our lives. Our repentance and turning away from our wrongdoings pleases God and in due course He will bless and lift us up to exalt His almighty and powerful name.
I Peter 5:10 ”But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
Sr. Beena Kurian