Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pain is Gain

Prov 3:11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights

It was last October and I had only been working at this accounting firm for 2 months. My boss was a nice guy and wasn't at all strict on me when it came to time or leaving early or anything really. I had the freedom (so I thought) to do as I pleased. There was something about Col 3:22-24 that I guess I didn't feel like obeying, or maybe it was the fact that I had gotten this job in the first place by God's grace and that He had taken me out of this crazy corporate job that I had forgotten, whatever the case, I wasn't being a good employee. Additionally, I wasn't being a good witness either. It bit me.

I got fired just two months into the job and my ex-boss had many choice words for me that day, good ones, but there were a set of words that let me know what had happened to me that day. "You're a Christian, and you aren't working as hard as you should. It is stewardship Chris, and it isn't something you've displayed very well." That's when it sank in and two weeks after that, I spent all my time realizing I had been a horrible steward with God's blessing and had been a horrible witness to several people I had been talking to in that office.

Sometimes God has to smack us (lovingly of course) and correct us in order that we might grow. In the Hebrew, the word chasten has no implication of punishment whatsoever. Chastening here speaks of someone admonishing someone, earnestly urging them with instruction, to correct, to teach or to discipline. To teach? Earnestly urge? Doesn't sound negative to me. It isn't. The best picture of chastening is just what the verse says, a father correcting his son. Think of it this way, if you had a son or daughter and you saw them playing in the street when cars are constantly driving by at 50+ MPH, are you going to let them play? Sure they are having fun doing it, but is it love if you let them get hit by a car? Is it love if you allow them to be damaged? Even more so, imagine you just let them go without any correction, then when something did happen to them, they would blame you.

Everything God does, God does out of love because God is love. Sometimes we aren't always going to like what He does, but He does it because He loves us, He does it because He has our best interest in mind (Rom 8:28, Gen 50:20). The point isn't to become upset by the situation and let that unfold us, the point is to become aware of the correction, of the Father behind the correction and look for the lesson. It is what we are called to do in every situation in life, look for the lesson, look to see what the Lord is teaching us.

I think often times we mistakenly look at God's wrath and anger in the wrong way. "God wrath is God's love in the face of sin" - Ravi Zacharias

"Am I prepared to let God grip me by His power and do a work in me that is worthy of Himself? Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me; sanctification is God's idea of what He wants to do for me, and He has to get me into the attitude of mind and spirit where at any cost I will let Him sanctify me wholly." - Chambers

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