People have a view of God as Chief Disciplinarian. We fear getting out of line and doing things wrong for fear that He will zap us. Many go through life in fear of judgment and going to hell for their sins which, the more serious we get, most find to be inescapable. Others use that fear, that description of God as Judge, to get their followers to adhere to certain behaviors. (Manipulate much?)

Does God discipline or chasten us? Yes, He does, but perhaps not the way that we tend to think.

My junior high school PE teacher / basketball coach told us boys, “If I yell at you, it’s because I see something in you that could be better and I’m pushing you to be your best.” After that it was way more bothersome that Coach didn’t yell so much at me.

God loves us, His children, and He wants us to do and be what He put us here for. He wants us to develop into all that we can be, in His image, and He works in us and around us to bring that to fruition. And God doesn’t yell at us, but his interest in us is not limited to those who have “superior” humanly-recognized talents. After all, He created each of us individually and gifted every one; He knows His plans for us.

He isn’t hiding around the corner, watching us through a one-way mirror, just trying to find us slipping up so that he can come down on us like a ton of bricks. No good father would do that, and He’s the Best Father. He’s actually on the other side: encamping ‘round about us, seeking whom He may help.

He is watching and guiding and (maybe) poking and prodding us a little (or a lot, depending) so that we will become all that He made us to be! We need not worry that He is going to take us out of the game permanently just because we’re underperforming, though He may put us into rehab for a while if necessary.

There will be tears in heaven when we realize what we could have done and did not, but we’re still pre-realization of that event. It’s time now to wake up and get to work on what we can do to lessen (or eliminate entirely) those tears in the future.

God gave you a song, a creation, an ability, a cause, and it’s still inside you. Let it out. It’s not too late. You don’t need 20 years to ramp up. His resources are unlimited. Whether you’re 15 or 50 or 95, you can connect to God’s power supply, switch off your resisters, and immediately start accomplishing what He wants you to do right now. It doesn’t matter whether you come to the game early in the day, at mid-day, or just before supper; He, the Good Master, promises to reward as He wills and chooses, and that’s not up for any man’s determination, not even your own.

God wants you to succeed. He is not looking for ways to spank you if you don’t sing a pre-approved tune in a classically-acceptable way. He wants you to succeed doing that thing that you love to do, for He put that love into you. And you don’t need anyone’s permission to do it, either. He gave you a license and a blank check. He is not against you; He is FOR you!

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Mike Scruggs