When a Believer experiences Biblical chastisement, either by the written Word or verbal admonishment, there is a tendency to respond with a number of reactions. Some assume a defensive posture which is supported by self-justification or denial. Others will accept admonishment and are quick to level self-imposed punishment for their actions; in fact, they are harder on themselves than the situation merits. There are also those that feel so ashamed that a mild depression surrounds them. Finally, there is the group that rejoices in the chastisement, for they see how much God loves them and, through this encounter with Truth, they learn from their failures.
The real issue to be considered is what we do after we have been chastised. If we respond with a quick repentance, and continue to sporadically indulge ourselves in the same behavior, our faith walk will become unstable. If we simply reason that one strike will not throw us out of the game, we shake the chastisement off and wait for an “uplifting” message. We look forward to the “sermon” that will highlight the blessings we have grown to expect from God’s Biblical treasure chest. Why is it that Believers take sin so lightly? The attitude of some is that God is not going to do anything about it, so why worry! It is almost like a challenge to God’s authority. Maybe they need to look at it from a different perspective. The concern should be what is sin doing to me? How is it affecting my spiritual walk and talk? Every time we sin, it affects our relationship with God. Maybe God will not reach down from Heaven and physically draw attention to sinful behavior, but it hurts Him when we willing walk away from chastisement with an unchanged attitude. Think for a minute how Jesus was nailed to a cross because of man’s sinful behavior. There on Calvary, He experienced the wrath of God. How can we look at sin so casually when, because of it, Jesus paid the ultimate price? God turned His face from Jesus as He suffered for the sinfulness of man. (Matthew 27:46) Today, God’s face is turned toward the Believer and He sees sin being so casually addressed by His followers. How can this be? How can we so flagrantly turn our backs on God by failing to respond to His chastisements that are meant to correct our wayward direction?
I believe that God’s chastisements are directly related to Jesus’ intercession for the Believer. (Hebrews 7:25) When Jesus sees our slip ups, He intercedes to God on our behalf. God then chastises the forgiven Believer so as to correct his momentary relapse. When we do not understand this, chastisement will not be appreciated, but resented and even ignored.