Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | January 13, 2015

Pride and Punishment 

The classic: “You’re grounded!”

The rule reminder: “Because you’ve broken the rules, your punishment will be…”

The simple: “No.”

The expanded version: “If you even think about it, you will be in sooooooooooo much trouble.”

Because of our own encounters with punishment, many people grow up thinking of God as the great punisher. Whether they are taught that directly from someone’s words, or learn it through interpretation, many worry about their sins rather than thanking God for His grace. We make the mistake of focusing on punishment rather than delighting in salvation. We think of God as a cruel, rules-bound, entity, rather than the loving Father of mercy that He has proven Himself to be time and again.

God’s Word says:

John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

Psalm 23:1-6

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

1 John 4:7-8

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

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