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Correction with a Kiss

Today's Devotional

God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10

In his parable The Wise Woman, George MacDonald tells the story of two girls, whose selfishness brings misery to all, including themselves, until a wise woman puts them through a series of tests to help them become “lovely” again.

After the girls fail each test and suffer shame and isolation, one of them, Rosamond, finally realizes she can’t change herself. “Couldn’t you help me?” she asks the wise woman. “Perhaps I could,” the woman replied, “now that you ask me.” And with the divine help symbolized by the wise woman, Rosamond begins to change. She then asks if the woman would forgive all the trouble she’s caused. “If I had not forgiven you,” the woman says, “I would never have taken the trouble to punish you.”

There are times when God disciplines us. It’s important to understand why. His correction isn’t driven by retribution but by a fatherly concern for our welfare (Hebrews 12:6). He also desires that we may “share in his holiness,” enjoying a harvest of “righteousness and peace” (vv. 10-11). Selfishness brings misery, but holiness makes us whole, joyful, and “lovely” like Him.

Rosamond asks the wise woman how she can love a selfish girl like her. Stooping to kiss her, the woman replies, “I saw what you were going to be.” God’s correction too comes with love and a desire to make us who we’re meant to be.

How have you understood God’s discipline in the past? How might He have disciplined you recently in order to make you more lovely?

Father God, thank You for Your correction, as painful as it can be. You bring it for my good.


The writer of Hebrews quotes Proverbs 3:11-12 in the explanation of God’s loving discipline (Hebrews 12:5-6). Proverbs 3 is well known for verses 5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

When we’re going through difficult experiences, it can be easy to think that we don’t deserve them, and that God has stepped into our lives just to discipline us. But the context of Proverbs 3 paints a picture of walking alongside our heavenly Father. Sometimes, like wandering children, we stray from God’s side, especially when we trust in our own understanding. His discipline brings us back—not just to correct behavior but to a close relationship with Him. Our kind Father loves us and wants us on the right path. After all, that’s where He is too.

By |2024-05-24T02:33:22-04:00May 24th, 2024|
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