Lately my sweet little 5-year-old James is having a problem telling the truth. We discovered it when he received a red mark in class from his Class Dojo app. (Technology these days!!) When we asked him about it, he straight up lied. I was shocked. Surely my little lamb was not lying! Not James! Not my little munchkin man!
Oh yes… and since then we have noticed that he likes to stretch the truth or “conveniently” forget things. The problem is that most of the time he flies under the radar. He usually doesn’t give us problems, so we haven’t had to discipline him often. So last week, when he lied about eating the twentieth piece of candy corn, my husband had to lay the hammer down… the dreaded sad spoon. I was shocked Andy even knew where it was. Well you can just imagine the scene. Andy took James into his room and you have never heard such wailing and gnashing of teeth. And then James made the mistake of saying, “That didn’t hurt!” So, Andy had to give it a second try. And I think that one did the trick.
While this was going on, I was in my room alternating between laughing and crying. At first, I was laughing, because hello, it’s the sad spoon!! But as soon as James started to cry for real, my heart started to break. I love that little man so much, and it hurt me to hear him cry. But if we did not discipline him and allowed that behavior to continue, what type of parents would we be? And what type of child would we be raising? The sad spoon spanking was for his own good.
I couldn’t help but think how this parallels to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Look at Hebrews 12:5-6.
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastens everyone he accepts as his son (NIV).
Yes, God disciplines us. Sometimes when we go through painful things here on earth, they are part of the Lord’s discipline. Why? Because He sees some things in us that need to be corrected. Just as Andy and I don’t want our son to continue to lie, God does not want his children to continue in sin. Not all of our hard seasons in life result from discipline from the Lord, but Scripture clearly teaches that some do. And even though discipline is painful, isn’t it encouraging that God corrects those He loves? If He didn’t care, He wouldn’t bother, and would let us continue in disobedience which would ultimately destroy our lives.
I wish I had time and space to go through the rest of Hebrews 12 but that would be a super long blog post, so I’ll leave you with verse 11:
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (NIV).
James couldn’t understand why he had to go through the pain of the spanking, but Andy and I knew that it was necessary. And our prayer is that he will remember the pain the next time he is tempted to stretch the truth. As humans, we can’t see the big picture or understand all the ways of the LORD, but we know that He works all things out for our good. We can take heart that He has our best interests in mind. And that any discipline will ultimately produce righteousness and peace if we will only submit to Him.