Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. – Hebrews 12:6
Washington Grammar School in Centerville, Iowa, no longer exists. The building was leveled some years after I graduated,
but the benefits of my attending that school still remain with me to this day. It was not the academic benefits as much as the extra-curricular activities
for which I am grateful. The principal, Mr. Howard, had a rule that no student should step on the grass of the front lawn. There were acres of grass
in back of the school where we could play, but his rule was intended to help build discipline and character in the students.
On a day when my team was going to be playing intramural basketball, Mr. Howard addressed the assembly. He announced that I had stepped on the grass and
would be staying after school! I spent a half-hour in the study hall, while my team was playing in the gym—perfect timing to learn a lesson!
It was the longest half-hour of my life, and you can be sure that I never even came close to stepping on the grass after that. Looking back, I appreciate
Mr. Howard for his concern for the students. There are many lines of moral accountability in life that I had to learn not to cross, and this was an
important step in my training.
At times, as Christians, we will experience chastening from the Lord. However, this is not done in anger; it is out of love that the Lord corrects us.
Like Mr. Howard’s interest in building character in his students, God wants to build spiritual character in each of us. He wants to see us mature in
our faith so that we can be used in the Gospel work and set an example for others. If we were never disciplined by the Lord, we could never progress
in our relationship with Him, which is God’s hope for each of His children.
All of us will be chastened by God at some point, but we can be comforted in knowing that He does it because He loves us. He only corrects us for our own
good, so that we can be partakers of His holiness, and that our life may bear the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Realizing that, we can thank God
for any correction, and be quick to change our ways.