Being Chastened

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
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Listen while you read: "Come Christians Join To Sing"1 (Lyrics)

When I was in high school, English literature, history, and languages were exciting and pleasant in which to immerse myself. Math and chemistry were a different matter! I had an English teacher who saw in me a love for writing and reading, as one who was fully engaged, unlike others who were daydreaming or doodling to pass the time. Once, I failed to hand in an assignment on time, and to my dismay, he chastened me in front of the class, which he did to his students from time to time. Why didn't I finish that assignment on time? I took advantage of his pleasure in a good pupil, and behaved like one who didn't care. My pride was bruised, but now, I know that he cared for me, the one who copied poetry and who was really ready to dive into the subject.

"Chastening" isn't a word often used these days, but it was used by the writer to the Hebrews, who spoke to Christians undergoing persecution.

Hebrews 12:3-8 – For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives". If you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons, for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. (NKJV)

What does "chasten" mean? Some similar words are to subdue, humble, deflate, penalize, admonish, afflict, berate, and chide. None of these carry the meaning of chasten in these verses. I see chastening as direction and disciplining to turn us back onto the right path. God can use difficult periods in our lives to do this, perhaps because we have forgotten the basics of Christian faith, or we have left it behind and made wrong choices. By chastening us, He brings us back to Himself, and shows His justice and rightness. The Hebrews writer emphasizes that chastening is a sign of good parenting, not rejection. This loving correction trains us spiritually. God doesn't punish us for sinning, as Jesus took on our punishment for all time at the cross. God's chastening is led by His love, not by anger.

My English teacher corrected me because my learning mattered. God corrects us, too, from time to time. None of us is exempt from God's correction. Being straightened out is the sign of being loved by a good Father. Have you gone through a difficult time in life and experienced being chastened? Let us each look to our good Father in heaven, Who wants us to return to Him, and Who loves us more than we will ever know this side of heaven.

Prayer: We come before You now, with no cover for our faces, no masks. You alone are our hearts' desire, and we come to worship You. There is peace in Your presence, and we reach for Your healing touch in this moment. Amen.

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About the author:

Shirley Moulton <>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Shirley.

    Very important reminder for us all! Thanks and blessings, Shirley!

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today.

    Our wrong choices cause pain and suffering to us and others – We turn to God for comfort and a new direction.

    Thank you, Shirley. I like this sentence: Being straightened out is the sign of being loved by a good Father. That’s an encouraging way to look at our lives.

    Thank you, Shirley, for sharing your writing talent with us, as you always deliver a very special and insightful devotional. Blessings as you continue your writings.

    Thank you so much for your message today! It truly spoke to me.

    Thank you for talking about something we don’t like.. chastening. Your writing is very, very good and it shows signs that you care what you are writing. May the Lord continue to keep his hand on your talent of writing.

    Good morning, Shirley
    This is another good one! Math was never a major for me, but I too enjoyed literature and poetry. It is true when we are loved or cared a person takes interest and concern for our well-being. Praying God opens the eyes of people to realize that He loves them and wants the best for them.
    God bless.

    Thanks Shirley, for this reminder of God’s transforming power in my inner being and His light for my daily walk with His Son, Jesus.
    “Saviour teach me day by day, love’s sweet lesson to obey, sweeter lesson cannot be, loving Him who first loved me.”
    Bless you for continuing to use your love of language in your life of service!

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