What I Believe: Consequence or Punishment

Whenever something bad happens in life, we want to say it isn’t fair. Complaining comes easily to me, but as I raise two little boys, I’m beginning to see that sometimes what I’ve called unfair is actually the consequence of my own actions or attitudes. For example, if I don’t make the effort to build up the child with lower self-esteem, I shouldn’t be surprised if he regularly tells me he can’t do the things I ask of him – I haven’t given him the foundation of confidence he needs.

Not all of the consequences are going to be that severe or even unpleasant, but life is full of action and reaction, or failure to act and a natural occurrence because of that failure. I think we need to keep that in mind as the days go by because it might just motivate us to behave more carefully and thoughtfully.

I know that people blame God for happenings in their lives or expect that something undesirable is a punishment from Him. While I do most often think of God as the ultimate father figure (even having a habit of starting my prayers with the name “Father God”) I don’t see Him as a vindictive and unfair parent. He knows what discipline might be needed to get us back on track, what consequences might serve as reminders to stay on the right path, etc. If He lets something happen that we don’t like and wouldn’t have approved if we were in charge, there’s got to be a reason for it. He just isn’t the type to let things slip through the cracks and He certainly isn’t careless about our lives.

There are also times when something unpleasant isn’t related to consequence, but instead its purpose is to prepare us to help others in similar situations or to provide genuine understanding and support. Perhaps the bad times will equip us with the tools we can use to serve and empathise in the future. We may not see it at the time, but He also doesn’t ask us to walk alone through those dark times. He sees the way clearly and will guide us through if we’re leaning on His capable arm like a blind man would of his seeing friend.

Perspective makes a great deal of difference in life. I’m not handing out rose-coloured glasses here, but a new view might just do wonders for your heart.

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