Proper Responses to Chastisement (Part One)

“And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens and scourges every son whom He receives’” (Hebrews 12:5-6).

By definition, a parent’s chastisement was not made for a child’s enjoyment (Hebrews 12:11). Because of this, how a chastened child responds to such parental love will determine whether a child becomes bitter or better. Hebrews 12:5-11 give four appropriate responses every child of God should have when his/her loving Father is chastening His beloved offspring.

The first two are what not to do. They are:

Do not despise God’s chastisement (v. 5). The idea commanded here involves two possible scenarios: 1) You act stubbornly and react with a hardheaded defiance, or 2) You treat God’s love and concern in a trivial manner. Neither response in despising God’s loving chastisement is wise nor appropriate.

Do not faint (v. 5). Do not be like the spoiled brat who pouts and sulks in self-pity. “Why try?” asks the self-absorbed and petulant quitter before he/she abandons any continued pretense of trying to live by faith. God has high standards, but it is not impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). If you have failed to live as you should and God has lovingly chastened you so you can live as a better version of yourself, it definitely is not the time to quit! If God has not quit on you, you have no good reason to quit on God.

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Author: jchowning

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