Parents see the benefits of discipline more easily than their children. When I was a child, I never quite bought the idea that I was being punished because my parents loved me. I just didn’t size it up that way. Acting as my own defense attorney, I rehearsed in my mind the severity of my punishment; I considered the hastiness of the verdict, the disproportion between the crime and the punishment. I milked my self-pity and cried into my pillow. Unfair! Only when I was older did I view discipline through a clearer lens. Of course, now I’m glad for my parents’ loving discipline.
But what about God’s discipline? Are we grateful for it? Do we see his love in it?
As believers, we struggle to apply this childhood lesson to our walk of faith. We often view God’s discipline from a childish perspective. We suffer—prompting us to ask, why? When bad things happen to God’s people, we puzzle in wonder or frustration or doubt. We question God’s wisdom. We question God’s motives. Like the parental discipline we faced as children, we question the severity of the suffering, the aptness, the justness of the trial. Why should I go through this pain?
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