As a child, I hated being punished even if the punishment was justified. As an adult, I see the need for correction in my own children. But I honestly doubt in the midst of punishment they are thinking how good this discipline is for them. I can relate. When God sees it fit to give me correction, I don’t always see past the punishment to its purpose, but deep down I know it is there.
In Proverbs chapter 3, Solomon continues to talk about how God disciplines out of love and we are too not despise the correction, nor be tired of it. Whew, that last one is tough. I can’t count how many times I’ve prayed to God to free me from the lessons, even when I knew they were exactly what I needed to be a better man of God.
How do I take the punishment?
That is the question I ask myself all the time, but maybe I am asking the wrong correction. See a punishment is to rightfully correct our behavior. If an action requires correction, we re not supposed to get joy out of the punishment. Otherwise, we would misbehave simply for the correction. In fact, the way we take the punishment only points to our level of understanding of the correction.
Instead of focusing on the punishment, I think we need to focus on our action post the punishment. Unless we are particularly hard-headed, it is pretty obvious when we are being disciplined by God. It may take us a minute or two to see the correction, but we do see it pretty quick. A toddler reacts out of anger and frustration as they blame the person dealing out the punishment, but a mature person sees it as an indicator to an incorrect behavior.
Real life application
I am not going to sit here and say either you or I will never receive punishment in the coming days. No matter how good we think we are, we are still in fact humans and we will slip. The question I suggest you ask is, “Would I rather God ignore my action?” Our initial reaction to that question will most likely be a resounding YES, but take a minute and think about it.
Let’s say you were busted for speeding. Our first instinct is that we wished we got away with it, but imagine if we always got away with it. Would we obey the limit when we drive, or would we slowly increase the risk until one day we make a mistake. I propose the little punishments God gives us ultimately saves our lives from our flawed ego and logical thinking.
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