"And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to 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 with 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."   -Hebrews 12:5-8, NKJV

These verses demonstrate the Biblical illiteracy that characterizes our modern day society in two, very important ways. First of all, it shows us that love doesn't mean condoning disobedience and rebellion. In our culture, anyone who refuses to accept and, more importantly, applaud any and all behaviors must hate you.....not simply disagree with you.....they must, of necessity, HATE you!

Thus, anyone who does not approve and applaud sinful words and actions must immediately be labeled as, "a hater." But the Bible says God hates sin. When sinful attitudes and actions are held up, applauded, and paraded as normal, respectable and above reproach, we are relegating God's Word to irrelevance. The Bible says God doesn't take that lightly. Psalm 138:2 says: "I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name. For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name."

That means those who claim to be Christians can call upon the name of God all they want, but it is those who revere God's word that He considers His own. In Isaiah 66:2 it says: "For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exists,' says the Lord. 'But on this one will I look; on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.'" In John 14:23-24, Jesus said: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."

So, first of all, the Bible destroys the very idea that one who disagrees with sinful words and actions is a hateful person; It just means they accept God's word as the final authority on all human behaviors. Secondly, our modern concept of love does not allow for discipline or correction. The Word of God plainly says that corrective discipline is not only necessary to train up a child in the way he or she should go, it is an act of love!

Proverbs 22:15 says: "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him." Proverbs 13:24 says: "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." Most moderns would probably express shock at such verses, as if they were advocating anger or abuse as a means of discipline. Nothing could be further from the truth! Think about that next time you quote Psalm 23:4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

As we enter the season of Greeting Card induced love, let's remember that real love corrects and disciplines!

Blessings & Peace, Brother Dan