For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives. Hebrews 12:6
When I was growing up, it wasn't politically incorrect for parents to spank their children for major infractions of household rules.
Although it wasn’t often that I was disciplined this way, it did happen.
Usually, a wooden spoon from the kitchen utensil drawer was the instrument for delivering what I felt was cruel and inhumane punishment.
It is only now, as an adult, that I have come to the realization that I always did the wrong thing during those sessions. My normal reaction was to get as far away as possible from the stinging spoon. What I should have done was gotten closer. Shortening up the distance wouldn’t have allowed her to take a full swing. In baseball lingo, she would have had to choke up her hold on the bat.
Now the purpose of that little piece of information is not to give advice to children on how to avoid punishment or to their parents on how to give it.
What I do want people to understand is that God, like a parent, does discipline us. It is a normal, human reaction for us to get angry, or afraid, and try to move as far away from Him as possible.
But I think it would be better if we would move closer to Him. That is what He wants, you know. When you get closer to the heavenly Father, the chastising doesn't hurt as much. It's something to think about, isn't it? Well, if you find some value to the idea, won't you use it, or share it with someone else who is hurting? Encourage them to move closer to God, because when they do, it doesn't hurt so badly.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, whether I'm hurting or joyful, move me closer to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries