Did She Just Say That?
“If I were a mosquito, I’d bite you!” Supposedly that was the first sentence I ever uttered. According to my mom, I was angry with my father and the best way to show it was through that outburst. Dad struggled between anger and laughter.
I needed to be taught a lesson in respect and speaking appropriately to my parents, but the comment was so shocking, especially since it was the first sentence I had ever pieced together. Fortunately for me, the need for discipline won out, and I was taught at an early age to respect those in authority.
Discipline is never easy at the time, but the resulting benefit yields a stronger, more mature character. Scripture speaks to this in Hebrews 12:6 and 11, “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
God lovingly corrects us when we walk contrary to His ways. We should never view His discipline as vengeance or with a “gotcha” mentality. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He can’t allow us to continue down a path that hurts us, so He brings the needed correction. What is critical to our success is our response to His discipline. God will not force His will on us. Because we have freewill, we can continue down the wrong path. But we will reap the consequences of walking outside of God’s plan for our lives, and those seeds will sow a bad harvest in our lives.
The opposite is also true. If we accept the correction and change our course to align with His precepts, we can reap a bountiful harvest. As we submit to God’s ways, which are higher than our manmade ideas (see Isaiah 55:9), we will see growth and maturity develop in our character. Our progress may feel painstakingly slow, but God isn’t in a hurry. As we see in Philippians 1:6, God isn’t going to give up on us. "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Just like my dad that day many years ago, our Heavenly Father patiently and consistently corrects, directs, teaches and trains us to walk a path that leads to blessing, rewards, and maturity. It all depends on how we respond. I pray that you respond to God’s correction with humility instead of rebellion. The opposing responses lead to very different destinations.