My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. (Hebrews 12:5-6)
I once heard someone say, “I am a spoiled saint of the Most High God!” Now, depending on your definition of the word “spoiled,” I submit to you today that there is no such thing in God’s family of faith.
The best definition of the term “spoiled child” that I can come up with describes children who consistently exhibit behavioral problems caused by being overindulged and under-disciplined by their doting parents. In a word, these parents have raised a “brat.” Are there any kids you know who come to mind when reading this definition?
Here again, how we understand this term as it relates to the child of God is rooted in our definition of “overindulged.” To be sure, we are overindulged with . . .
I could fill this page with a list of the amazing gifts of grace that Christians have received from our heavenly Father . . . and then keep going. Can any of us fully describe the “overindulgence” we receive from our omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God? But when we review this list, we are never to think it should include words such as pampered, babied, coddled, or spoiled. Loved by God? Most definitely. Spoiled by God? Not a chance! Make no mistake about this truth: God would have none of us as His children rather than coddle a bunch of self-centered, self-absorbed, self-seeking, and self-interested brats!
We must keep in view the fact that the grace that saves us is the same grace that sanctifies us, and the business of sanctification is often a painful process. God’s greatest goal for every one of His children is to conform us into the likeness of His beloved and precious Son, and that takes discipline—a discipline that is designed to deflate our ego, which continually seeks to edge God out. The self does not die in a day, but daily, and God will not stop short of conforming us perfectly into the image of His Son.
It will never be said about our Father in heaven what was said about King David’s parenting of Adonijah: “His father [David] had not rebuked [Adonijah] at any time by asking, ‘Why have you done so?’” (1 Kings 1:6 NKJV).
Nobody wants a spoiled child. Good parents discipline their children in love, with the goal being correction and heart transformation. God is the perfect parent; He will not settle for a spoiled saint, so He disciplines us by every means necessary. And that is a kind of love that will never spoil!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!