For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.~Hebrews 12:6 NLT
She knew what she had done—and she took her punishment willingly.
Our little Chihuahua-terrier mix has a sweet tooth. After many episodes of her getting into candy, suckers, and chocolate of various types, we learned to put away the trash can, shut doors, and remove any candy within her reach while we were away.
But one Valentine’s Day we forgot. Our oldest grandson’s teacher had given a Valentine party for the students in her class. Levi came home with a large bag full of candy, which he placed on the floor by my wife’s recliner. When the phone rang, telling us my wife’s car was ready at the repair shop, we all piled into my old car and headed to get it.
When we returned and walked into the house, Rita lay crouched by my wife’s recliner. Since she sometimes greets us that way, I thought nothing of it—until I walked into the den. In the floor, lay an empty box of conversational hearts, or what was left of it. The box top had been torn off and a few hearts lay scattered about. The rest were in Rita’s stomach.
“Riiiita,” I said in the most chiding voice I could muster. (I’m not too good at scolding her since she’s my little lap dog and spoiled to boot.) She laid her ears back and cowered a little lower, but remained where she was.
“Riiiita.” My wife’s booming voice brought a different reaction. Rita scurried to the bedroom and scooted into her kennel—and stayed without the gate latched. “She knows what to do when she’s in trouble,” my wife said.
After a few minutes—when I thought she had learned her lesson, even though I knew better—I said, “Rita, you can come out now.” And she did with her tail wagging and her tongue going.
I’ve never enjoyed punishing any animal I’ve ever owned, but I know it’s necessary if they are to learn what they should and should not do. I consider it more training than discipline, although that’s what discipline is.
God disciplines because we are His children, and He loves us—just as my parents disciplined me because I belonged to them and they were responsible for my behavior. “But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin” (Job 5:17 NLT).
But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin.~Job 5:17 NLT
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t much like God’s chiding—and sometimes, like my dog, I crouch down when I know it’s coming. But occasionally, I’ll do what she did: take it like a man (or, in her case, a woman) because I know God has my best interests at heart. I’ll crouch a little lower because I know I’ve done wrong and then willingly go to my kennel—or wherever God sends me—until He sets me free, which is when He knows I’ve learned my lesson…at least for the moment.
When you get off track—or eat what you’re not supposed to—take God’s chastening with a good spirit. After all, He does it with love and for your own good.
How do you react when God disciplines you?
Father God, thank You for caring for me even through disciplinary measures.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2020: Taking the Chastisement: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved