Soft Grandpa or Hard Teacher? Neither!

God isn't harsh or permissive - He's a perfect Father who knows exactly what's best for us

For years I struggled with the contradictory things I heard from fellow Christians about God's character.

Some people's explanations of God made him sound like an absent-minded grandpa or a Santa Claus. Others made Him sound like an angry teacher or aloof king.

But God is none of those things.

God isn't harsh or permissive - He's a perfect Father who knows exactly what's best for usWhen we study Scripture, we understand that God is our loving Father, who knows exactly (perfectly) what encouragement, rebuke, instruction and discipline we need. He's not waiting to knock us down nor is He ignorant of our need for correction. He's neither harsh nor permissive.

God's discipline can be punishment but very often it's training.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:5-6

Understanding God's true character is critical when facing hardships.

I'd love to have you join me at Bite Size Bible Study where a number of Bible passages are given in full text to help you better understand God's role in our lives regarding hardships. Study the verses and leave a comment describing God in your own words but using the Scriptures as your source.

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  1. One of my readers sent this comment in an email because (for some reason unknown to me) the comment section wouldn't allow her to post it. But I think it's worth sharing here:

    I have a couple thoughts so bear w/me. As a child, I grew up in a loving, but strict household (military) so my perception of God was one of a God of judgement--waiting to punish any infraction.

    I kept this idea until I had children of my own...I was 27 before I had my first child.

    Anyway, I didn't take long to realize that parenting is difficult, and some of the things I viewed as punishment were actually just consequences of poor, bad judgement. God does judge, God does punish but God loves & wants the best for us.

    That being said, however, if we choose the 'wrong' thing despite God's loving directions, He will allow us to experience the consequences--I wonder how often He just shakes his head at me.

    On another note, when we do go through difficult times, I think of the caterpillar stuck in a struggles to break out of its cocoon & the struggle makes it stronger. If in trying to be 'nice', one was to open the cocoon before the caterpillar was ready, its wings would not develop as they should & the butterfly's wings would not be as strong as they should.

    So, when I struggle w/something, I figure my wings are getting stronger.

  2. what a great the cocoon idea....that's exactly what I've been struggling to understand and that's made it so easy for me to see! Thank you so much Gail for sharing another reader's thoughts......made my day x


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