C-H-A-S-T-I-S-E Another Way to Spell Love

Blog #43 October 14, 2022

Growth is a process of gaining knowledge and applying it to the lives we live. Sounds simple doesn't it? In truth it is about as simple as herding cats. Between gaining the knowledge and successfully applying it to our lives comes a number of failed attempts that fall under the heading of mistakes, blunders, or errors. Mistakes take on various forms that range from misunderstandings all they way to rebellion depending the state of our heart and how badly we want our labor of growth to succeed. In God and by His design all can be rectified, but again as with all things in God it is a process He designed, and it is our choice to join Him in this process. 

Proverbs15:10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way; and he that hateth reproof shall die. 

As in any other learning situation, mistakes made can all be traced back to a lack of communication between the teacher and the student. A learning situation involves an exchange of knowledge wherein the teacher offers knowledge and seeks to promote proper understanding of the knowledge by asking and answering questions. In return the student receives the knowledge offered and seeks to promote understanding by asking and answering questions. In other words, without communication learning cannot occur. 

Proverbs 18:15 The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

We need to first understand and then accept how much God loves us and believes in our ability to accept into our lives the ways of truth, charity, and righteousness. Scriptures testify to us of God actively reaching out us. Even when we are wrong He seeks to lift us up and put us on the right path.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Hebrews 12:6-8
12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Admonishment and chastisement are both teaching tools that God uses to direct us and correct us as we walk with Him on our path of growth. In our hearts we must realize that neither admonishment nor chastisement should be misconstrued as punishment. To accomplish this, imagine if you will a typical classroom in which one child is constantly disrupting the class. The teacher tells the child that they need to sit in their seat, be quiet, and quit disrupting the class. This is an admonishment, which is an attempt by the teacher to help the student realize an error made and allow the student to be the source of the solution to the problem. If the child fails to cease their disruptive action, the teacher must become the source of the solution. She puts them in "time-out". This is chastisement. It actively separates the child from fellowship with the people and protects the body from the influence of the bad behavior, but does not remove the misbehaving child from the presence or the influence of the fellowship around them. The promise here is that admonishment and chastisement both allow us a place within the body. Punishment we face alone without the presence or support of the body. 

This is a wonderful system that is even used by our own body. Walk out the front door on a chilly day and you will hear a voice within telling you that you need a jacket. This is an admonishment. Ignore this admonishment and you risk a couple of days away from active life treating a cold. This is chastisement. Punishment is for those who ignore the chastisement and end up in hospital isolation with pneumonia. 

Hebrews 12:5-11
Author's Note: In God, scriptures are the main source of admonishment. If scriptures fail, God will actively chastise us seeking both our correction and our growth. In dealing with correction from God, this passage of Hebrews is often used. These verses show a clear relationship between chastisement and the love of God. Most teachers quit with verse 6 and a few will include verse 7. I expanded the passage to verse 11 for a very specific purpose. We need to know God's true revealed nature and realize how much trust and love by both parties needs to exist within the covenant we have made. We need to open ours hearts to the fact that our covenant labor is more than just a responsibility or a burden we bear. Our labor for the Kingdom is more than just a job we do for God. It is a holy effort that we carry on with God. In this mindset we can find the full depth of our relationship with God. In this mindset we find joy. 

Hebrews 12:5-7
12:5 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;
12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Verses 5, 6, and 7 let us know that God will correct us and that He does it because He loves us. We must understand the depth of love that God offers us. In covenant with the Lord we grow in awareness of God's affection for us. We are more than faithful followers; we are now family. We must allow this change to alter everything about us, even our own perception of ourselves and how we grow. 

Growing within the bounds and rules of the temporal family begins with the temporal sameness that binds us together. We begin in the oneness of the same mother and father. All are the same within the bounds of this temporal life. We all eat the same food. We all wear the same quality of clothes. Our oneness is a fact of life we did not choose. We learn to seek each day, growth that will allow us to cease needing this oneness. Leaving that family to gain our own individuality is the effort ingrained us. Pride in one's self becomes a learned necessity if we are to achieve success and "leave the nest" to become the individual we need to be. 

Leviticus 26:9-12
26:9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
26:10 And ye shall eat old store and bring forth the old because of the new.
26:11 And I will set my tabernacle among you; and my soul shall not abhor you;
26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

The oneness we seek within a family with God as our Father differs greatly from the temporal family we were raised with. We must discover strength within humility that allows us to live and thrive with others in a fellowship founded on our shared unity of purpose. We must leave behind the self-pride that has driven us for so long to become who we are, and we must do it without sacrificing the individuality that is of so much value to God and the Kingdom. Life and growth within the Kingdom must be motivated with a type of chastisement that is unlike anything we have known before. In the temporal realm chastisement by our parents was meant to produce growth through regret and even shame. It was something we had to suffer through and learn to overcome. In the Kingdom of God chastisement needs to be something we trust and honor. It is not meant to either create or destroy our distinctive differences. It is meant to teach us to allow our own individual strength to grow and become perfect within the oneness that makes us a family. In covenant with God is the only place in creation that this can happen. Our chastisement by God is a blessing of love and helps to create within each of us an awareness of the God who created us and loves each of us as his own. 

Hebrews 12:8-11
12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
12:9 Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
12:10 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.
12:11 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.

Continuing through verse 11, we will begin to understand that God is teaching us to grow. He is very aware of our ability to choose and He wants us to make choices that cause growth both within us and within the Kingdom. God like the wise Father He is wants us to gain more from the situation than just the knowledge of our mistake. He wants us to feel safe and secure within the love He offers. He wants us to feel the joy He feels at our growth within the Kingdom. When we fail to accept the joy He offers and refuse to accept His chastisement with trust and love we subject ourselves to an attitude that can destroy both us, and the Kingdom within us. We call that attitude shame.

Psalms 25:20-23
25:20 Oh keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. 
25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Shame is a crutch. In fact, it is the crutch on which we hobble away from God. We must face correction in the way it is given. We must learn and grow. We must trust God and allow the lesson he offers to serve its purpose. God seeks to make us wiser, not prove that He is right and we are wrong. He chastens us that we might learn what He knows and approach the next situation better informed and emboldened by the new knowledge we have been given. 

1 John 4:16-19
4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 
4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world. 
4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 
4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

Understand that shame separates us from God by causing us to fear Him. We are not meant to be afraid of God. We are meant to love Him and feel secure in our hearts that He loves us. In that unity, the love between God and us is perfect. In boldness, God can chasten us and our answer to Him will be, “You’re right; let’s go try that again, your way”. The bold heart is humbled by a mistake in the presence of the Lord God, but at the same time emboldened by the perfect love that exists between them and the chance we are given to “do it right”. 

Hebrews 10:16-17
10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Consider the depth of meaning in this passage. God says to us that He will remember our sins no more. If they no longer exist in the mind of God, they are gone forever. By holding on to the shame of our sins, are we are disputing God's authority? Are we saying to God that we need that shame to be complete in Him regardless of His authority to eliminate them? Are we in shame, challenging God's authority in our life? I believe we are. 

Genesis 3:12 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they had been naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Genesis 3:15 And I, the Lord God, called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where goest thou? And he said, I heard thy voice, in the garden, and I was afraid, because I beheld that I was naked, and I hid myself.

Genesis 3:27 Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skins, and clothed them.

This in brief form is the account of the interchange between God, Adam, and Eve at judgment following their original sin. Notice that immediately following their rebellion both Adam and Eve were so ashamed for each other that they made coverings of leaves. Together in shame they hid when they heard God's voice. They suffered God's wrath and covered themselves with there own shame. God could see their suffering and made coats of skins to cover them. In that act we saw God perform the first animal sacrifice. He killed an animal to cover Adam, and Eve's nakedness and relive them of their shame. God knows that our shame cripples us and challenges our ability to truly repent. Who are we to carry our sins in our hearts when God has said that they no longer exist? I believe that God was showing us through Adam and Eve that we are to forget our sins as He has and go forward. Shame is for those who have no Father to lift them up out of their sins, and tell them, they are no longer naked. It's as if He were saying, "I the Lord God have covered you. Leave you shame behind we have more important things to accomplish. Grow and change for we have a Kingdom to build". 

We must leave our shame behind us and go forward. By recognizing the love God offers us we understand fully that the path of repentance and reconciliation is ours to walk if we so choose, but we must give God our shame and accept His gift of hope. In this we come closer to God. I this we grow.

Psalms 119:116-117
119:116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live; and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
119:117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe; and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.


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