S180P3 – The signs of the righteous: trained by chastening

Heb. 12:9‭-‬11

Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect.  Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?  For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.  Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

In his own eyes, he was a failure.  He tried his hardest at everything he did, and his effort was optimal, but he never felt like he quite made it.  There always was more to be done, better to be done.  His teachers, parents, and church leaders would pat him on the back and show support, but that was not all.  This encouragement always came with constructive criticism.  Not only that, he rarely asked for these critiques.  His perception was that these leaders were just pointing out his shortcomings and faults, but something else was happening there.  All this correction and redirection was coming from a place of love.  Those leaders found him worth the work to sow into his training through chastening.

You might be hard pressed to find someone who truly enjoys correction and criticism.  Some have learned their value and welcome them when needed, but the process can seem joyless.  There is something inside us that wants to succeed and excel, but there is something else inside us that fights against the correction that gets us there.  If viewed incorrectly, it can make us feel unworthy or less-than, but this is necessary training.  We are looking at a cause and effect here.  Chastening does its work to produce righteousness in those who allow that work to be completed, and our response is a choice.  Those who desire to walk in righteousness will yield to the Lord’s chastening for the sake of the good work it does in us.

The crux of the matter is that we must be able to admit that we are works in progress requiring a lot more work.  The righteousness of Christ might be imputed to us, but to walk in that righteousness is a skill we develop.  The Father chastens those He loves, so we cannot accept his love without his correction.  To do so is to accept only part of him but not all of him.  This journey requires our being changed and reformed, and we stall that journey when we refuse to change.  The fruit of chastening is righteousness, and we cannot have one without the other.  Father, help us to yield to your correction and welcome the process that produces righteousness in those who have your favor.