Everyone in high school envied Gail. She was beautiful, had all the boyfriends she wanted, and her parents did not restrict her freedom. She sat next to me in class and one day handed me a note. It read, “I am so envious of you and your sister. Your parents discipline you. Mine do not love me enough to correct me.”
I was puzzled and thought someone else had written that note, but she told me it was from her. This made a huge impression on my life. While I do chafe under correction, I’m far more upset if someone knows I am making a mistake and doesn’t say anything. Love cares enough to correct.
This is true of God. The Bible says His love includes correction. If it didn’t, how could I worship Him?
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19)
Repentance is easier when I know God asks for a change that is good for me. Besides, He does it with such gentleness and discretion. God rarely hangs my follies out where everyone can see them. (I can do that all by myself.) Instead, He approaches me when I am alone and whispers rather than shouts. I have a sense that He even hugs me when I get that loving smack that says, “Stop that!”
Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. (Job 5:17)
“Blessed” can mean “well-spoken of” or “happy” so God uses reprove to improve my reputation and make me happy. No one likes sin and selfishness. Those whom God corrects are respected. He knows that removing my sin and changing my ways will also bring me joy and peace. As I grow in my faith, I know it too. He is not against me but for me. My enemy is sin and self-centeredness, never God.
I don’t know what happened to Gail. From rumors, she looked for love in all the wrong places. I hope she found it, but I know that even the best human love is cannot fulfill our greatest needs. The love of God does, for it produces peace and changed lives. The affliction of being corrected is short; the blessings last forever.