Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

What About Punishment?

I remember one day I was hot and tired, making dinner in the kitchen while the children were running around me playing. A daughter stopped and asked me a question—an abstract question that required genuine effort to wrap my brain around before giving her an answer that didn’t generate forty-two more questions.

I answered calmly. She accepted my answer and flashed back to her playing. I stood there briefly in slight amazement. “Wow, I really had a lot of patience on that one,” I thought. Then I thanked God.


The patience came from God. I was not in the mood to be patient and yet it was there.

Then it dawned on me. God is constantly pouring out patience and other good experiences because God is good.

If I refuse to accept the goodness, I am only punishing myself.

So, all this stuff about God punishing us for our sins is backwards. Sin is self-punishing, self-destructive. God on the other hand, can’t take away good. God can’t take away our rights to health and purpose and strength. God gives goodness and we can accept all this goodness.


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