A Different Kind of Fear of God
For many Christians, the word “despise” in the above verse could be replaced with “abjectly fear,” and when one’s idea of discipline involves the energetic application of a belt or a switch, it’s understandable that one would be afraid, very afraid, of being beaten by God.
When one looks at discipline in the light of definition A, above, however, one can deal with this: no father needs or wants lazy, complacent, disobedient, careless children, and the best solution when one experiences behavior like this is not to immediately pull out a stick. A wise father can find a more creative — and effective — means of disciplining a child to be a better person, in the same way that a good athlete pushes himself, hard, but not to the point of injury.
Because many Christians are focused on the concept of sin, sin, and more sin, any time they falter or fail, they automatically consider themselves wicked and evil, fully deserving of the very worst that God could inflict.