Proverbs — News From The Source – Part 14
“My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:11-12
Chastening is no fun. There are no two ways about it. When we are confronted with our shortcomings or mistakes and then corrected and disciplined for them, it doesn’t feel good. But, if we are willing to accept chastening as God’s loving means of bringing us to spiritual growth and maturity in wisdom and righteousness, we will be greatly enriched by it.
The Apostle pointed to this truth in Hebrews 12.
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him…” Hebrews 12:5
“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” Hebrews 12:7
“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.” Hebrews 12:11
To be exercised by chastening is to yield to its wisdom by changing our behavior to conform to it. To ignore wisdom and chastening is to respond to its correction with the old saw, “That’s just the way I am.” Yes, “that” (whatever the condition) is the way we all have come to the Lord, broken, sinful, full of the ways of the world and destined for death through sin. But, Jesus has called us to come to Him and be transformed from “just the way we are,” to become fully the way He is, righteous, pure and holy.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2
Conformation and transformation are among the most fundamental rewards of our chastening by the Father to bring us to be one with the image of God.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3
The process of our transformation and conformation is a lifetime pursuit. But we needn’t worry, because God is working in us to bring us to that ultimate identification in Christ. We learn and are changed by the messages and instructions we receive from the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, whom Jesus has given to the Church.
“He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:10-16
Here are some synonyms for the Biblical meaning of the word, Chasten — to discipline, to reprove, to chide, to restrain, to admonish, to rebuke
Chastening brings suffering of a kind for a time but, chastening from the Lord is never intended to punish, harm, castigate, condemn, afflict, or in any way abase, abuse, injure or subject to sickness or disease as a means of instruction.
The Word and the Holy Spirit are our chastenersand our teachers. By them we learn obedience and through obedience to God’s Word we gain wisdom and by sound wisdom we come to understand all things.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16