Thursday, 12 April 2018
I have experienced rebuke by Christians when I mention words like ‘punishment’. I am told that God does not punish us but He disciplines us. I am told that God does not punish us but He allows us to face the consequences of our deeds of disobedience.
As a loving parent, I have discovered that I can spoil my children if I’m not careful. Therefore, I remind myself to stand firm on a value system and carry out punishments like caning when my children were young. Caning alone is not enough. Teaching must follow. Parents (and teachers) must take time to explain why a certain action is not acceptable. Rules must be obeyed. Guidelines must be observed. The difference must be explained. I have heard parents say, “Kids are kids.” I agree but kids must also be guided and nurtured to become responsible adults.
The Bible tells us that the Israelites grew impatient with the long journey led by God and they began to SPEAK AGAINST God and Moses. The LORD then sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died (Numbers 21:4-6).
The people repented. The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can LOOK at it and LIVE.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
In that wilderness, a symbol of death and judgment was TRANSFORMED into an instrument of life and healing.
I want to remember that God can transform even what’s most painful in my life into a place where I experience His healing power. If we believe in Him, we must wait on Him for new life and hope (inspired by today’s reading entitled ‘Transformed’ in ‘Our Daily Journey’).
Before I read the Bible story of the bronze snake on a pole, I didn’t understand why some medical organizations have that symbol. Now I understand. It reminds me of God’s mercy on ungrateful people who murmured against Him and His chosen leader. When people do not understand (appreciate) what a leader is doing, they grumble and complain continuously. Kids whine when they don’t understand why their parents say ‘no’ to their desires.
I believe God is pleased when we discipline our children. Love is demonstrated. IT IS NOT LOVE when parents don’t do or say anything. I earnestly pray that all parents have the wisdom to do the right thing for their kids.
Jesus said, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” Revelation 3:19
I pray for all parents, teachers, caregivers and whoever is given the responsibility of raising children: that LOVE may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that we may be able to DISCERN what is best and pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that COMES THROUGH JESUS CHRIST – to the glory and praise of God.
Lam Yee Ling