My pastor tells the story of needing to discipline his children. Like me and many other parents who love their children, he still believes it necessary and in order to use spanking as one of the corrective measures God placed at a parent’s disposal (See Proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14; and 29:15). As his boys faced their upcoming spanking due to a transgression of theirs, the younger one was overheard giving the older one some sage advice: If you move closer to Daddy while he spanks you, it won’t hurt as much.
During the time of Isaiah, the children of Israel were being disciplined for turning against God. As God allowed other nations to rise up and punish them, the prophet writes, “For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts” Isaiah 9:13 (NKJ). The only One who could help them was the One they continued to reject.
It’s difficult to turn toward the one disciplining us. Teenagers are especially good at holding grudges against a parent who has placed them on punishment, or against teachers who dole out a discipline for their wrongdoing. Adults are no better. We are ready to defend ourselves when a mistake or a wrong is pointed out, rather than accept the rebuke, correct our erroneous word or deed, and make the appropriate apologies if necessary. Teens and adults alike turn away from the disciplinarian rather than toward the one who loves us enough to point out that we are wrong.
Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (NKJ). And Proverbs 27:6a says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” (NKJ). The NIV Bible translates that Proverbs verse as, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted…” Like God, parents, teachers, and even friends who discipline and correct us are doing so because they love us. They simply do not want us to continue to act a fool.
My pastor’s son had the right idea. The next time you are being disciplined by someone who loves you, move closer. From up close, you’ll experience the love in the chastisement, and by changing your ways, you’ll experience the peace that right living (righteousness) can bring. And especially remember the advice when God is disciplining you. Be a quick study and “move closer to Daddy.”
©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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