I have been having a lot of fun reading again these past few years. I just finished up some books (I love Christian historical novels) by an author that I have come to really enjoy. I found the stories very entertaining and I thought they had excellent messages. But one thing irked me. Throughout both adventures the author used her characters to stress the fact that God does not punish people for bad choices – He loves and forgives.
While I definitely agree that God is first and foremost loving and forgiving, He very clearly disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). I have experienced both His mercy and His discipline.
I understand that the author does not want us to consider all of life’s bad experiences to be a result of God disciplining us. I also appreciate the author’s reminder that God forgives and restores us. But those two things do not discount the fact that God does discipline us using tough situations sometimes.
Just like I sometimes give my children mercy, and other times they need to endure some discipline based on what I believe will be the most helpful to them in the long run, so God works to help us become the best that we can be.