I would put my money on the fact that you don’t like being chastised or rebuked.
Right? It simply doesn’t feel good.
None of us are going to stand up to form a line to get a good dose of rebuke. Instead, we run from it, hide from it, we are upset when it happens and hold on to our grudges for awhile afterward.
Chastisement is God’s way of making us holy.
Webster’s 1828 defines chastisement as a correction; punishment; pain inflicted for punishment and correction.
Pain? No thank you!
Imagine chastisement walking into the building and you duck out the back door to escape it. That sounds about right.
Yet we need to stop running away from it because chastisement is part of the journey as we pursue holiness.
Sin is like a wall separating us from the King. When we are living according to our own desires and plans, while using God as a lifeline, then we aren’t going to pursuing holiness each day.
We can’t be holy without chastisement. We can’t become holy with sin in our lives. So how is God going to rid us of that sin if we aren’t being rebuked?
I love how Sally describes this principle in her book Own Your Life:
God desires to remove the scars caused by our brokenness, to heal the deformity caused by sin, and to use the ugliness of life to transform us into the beautiful image of Christ we were originally made to bear. pg.62
God allows difficult situations into our lives to transform our lives. Not to hurt us but to change us into His image. Think of it as a way of educating us on our own depravity so that we can become more righteous and holy. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing in our minds.
Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 9:8-9 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (emphasis added)
God never leaves us in the midst of His chastisement.
He is always right there besides walking through the hard times. There is such comfort in knowing this. We can have faith knowing that He is there and in control and has a purpose for whatever it is you’re going through. He comes alongside us, you can claim that promise when you don’t understand why. We don’t need to duck out the back door and throw our Christianity in the trash because His plan is to align our will with His. I know I find comfort in that.
Chastisement will not be fun but it will be worth it.
It’s going to hurt and be painful. The Bible assures us of that.
Hebrews 12:10-11 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Why does He do it? For our own profit! For our holiness!
I recently experienced this in my own life. There was a certain situation that really upset me, and honestly still does, but I wanted to cut out people from our lives and not hang around them anymore because to me their actions were inconsiderate and hurtful. I didn’t want to be nice anymore. I didn’t want to show them kindness or give to them anymore. They had used up every last inkling of my patience. I was done, hurt and angry. Yet God used so many different situations in my life to chastise me. To show me that I still needed to kind, to love them, to keep giving even when it was hard and to forgive them. It took months! Literally. It took multiple people in my life to speak life into me. And each time I wanted to lash out. But through it all, God changed my heart. It was a slow painful process but in the end, it was worth it. Worth it because I know that I am loving others as God would have me love them, sacrificially. Did I sign up for months of agony? Ha no! But I am a better Christian in the end.
Friend, embrace your chastisement. Don’t harden your heart. Walk with Lord each and every day. Search your heart. Pursue holiness.