Rebuked in Love

No compassionate person enjoys the responsibility of disciplining others for any reason. When I was a little girl, if I misbehaved, my father right before the punishment would say something like, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” Perception is everything! I always thought, how is this going to hurt you more than me? Then, as a parent myself, I finally understood what my father, who loved me more than his own life, felt. Discipline is necessary for all of humankind because we, you, and I have a propensity to sin. Earthly parents must discipline their children if they are to be responsible human beings in a world where, “No man is an island entire of itself…” (John Donne).

Every generation since the beginning of time, has endured a rebellious segment of its population. Growing up in the 1960s, I remember well the stand we took as young people against “the establishment.” As stated earlier in this writing, “perception is everything!” In our teens and twenties, we thought we understood it all, only to find out in our fifties and sixties just how much we had yet to learn, and the learning never stops.

When King David wrote the words in Psalm 38, he was feeling the pain of separation from God because of his sin. Sin awareness should not only make the sinner sad, but it should also make him or her do something about it; this is exactly what David did, he cried out to God for help. When you and I sense sin in our lives, do we erect a billboard along the road of our culture demanding acceptance of our sin nature, or do we humble ourselves like David, saying to God, “I am feeble and severely broken…”?

“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NKJV).