Growing up, one of the main methods of discipline my parents practiced was spanking. Every time I got my backside warmed, I would get angry at whichever parent just doled out that punishment. I didn’t really think about why that was until yesterday in the Prayer Room. I was thinking about how I just hate getting in trouble, but if someone is in trouble with me, they’ll know at the very least. I was struck by the hypocrisy of it all. I am so quick to come down on someone under me if they don’t follow my instruction, but when it happens to me, I am hurt and offended. That’s when another thing struck me. I never made any connection between causing pain and love; I’ve always thought of them as two separate things. When my parents spanked me, I took it as a sign they didn’t love me. When friends would point out a fault (out of love of course), I trusted them less. On the outside, I may have seemed to understand and all that, but inside I would be feeling betrayed and feel awkward around them until they did/said something positive to me. Of course God was no different.
I don’t believe that every negative thing is God punishing us for sin or whatever (but it happens); rather, I believe that God allows negative things to happen to cause us to lean on Him, to learn life skills, and/or show us a different aspect of His personality. While I’ve always said that I believe that everything God does He does out of love, there’s always been a feeling that that is not the case. I suppose that could have come from my parents becoming enraged before the switch ever came out, and children base their view of God on their parents (specifically their father). So if I base my perception of God on my perception of my parents, I see a God who is quick to anger, one with speedy and harsh consequences for breaking His rules, and otherwise isn’t like He says He is. My parents (well, my mom at least, I can’t recall my dad ever doing this) would tell me that they love me after a spanking, and hold me for a bit while I cried. Somehow, that didn’t really connect it my mind.
God does discipline those He loves, and is slow to anger. This true. I just have to believe it, and renew my mind (probably on a daily basis) to remove the lies the enemy loves to plant about God and who He is.