God Isn’t Punishing You

Image of East to West Sign

“I’m not married because God is punishing me for my past.”                                    

I’ve heard many friends express this sentiment over the years. The belief is whatever they did in the past, especially sexually, is causing God to ‘hold out’ on them and punish them for their wrongdoing. And I’ve been there, too.

If you believe there is a God who is omnipotent, loving, and at work in the lives of people, have you ever been tempted to believe God is punishing you when things start to go wrong? You don’t get a job, everyone else has found their soulmate except you, or something tragic happens to you. Have you ever noted a correlation between your choices and bad situations piling up?

I continually struggle to believe God has my best interest in mind. Because sometimes life’s circumstances just seem plain unfair – even unbearable. I’ve caught myself thinking of God as cruel taskmaster, thinking “I told her not to” as He sends down punishment from heaven.

…do you ever feel like God is punishing you?

The grave misunderstanding is that God acts according to our character. But the Bible says God does not punish or bless us according to our behavior – but according to His character. God sent Jesus to die on the Cross, while we were still useless sinners. Before we made any promises to ‘get it right’ and not screw things up (terribly, at times). (Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”)

The Bible is full of references to God as a loving Father, as well as many about God’s anger and discipline — confusing and seemingly contradictory.  (Note: The Old Testament is full of accounts about God’s anger and judgement; however, if you believe in Christ, you are protected from God’s anger with the blood of Christ.) Without time for an in-depth theological discussion, below are just a few verses for thought:

God as a loving Father: “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.” Romans 8:15

God’s discipline: “because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:12

As a loving Father, God does discipline His children. But the important distinction is God doesn’t discipline to punish, he does so to TRAIN us – and prepare us for His best. God is not out to harm us or destroy us; He is longing to give us the richest blessings we can possibly imagine.

God takes pleasure in giving you GRACE abundantly. He is longing to bless you – in the midst of trials and suffering and persecution and confusion – because He is a good Dad.

Psalms 103:11 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Not because we are good, but because He is. 

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Comments
26 Responses to “God Isn’t Punishing You”
  1. Ryan G says:

    Great, great post. I struggled with this a lot last year…sexual sin is great at making you believe the lie that you are unlovable and undesirable. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus though, a truth we need to continually remind ourselves of.

  2. Kristy says:

    This morning I was so excited to see in my inbox a message saying that you had posted a new blog! After following a few links, I landed upon this entry. If this isn’t a prime example of God’s grace and timing I don’t know what is! I desperately needed to read this message today, as I have been struggling with this very thought for a long time, but feel that it has recently escalated. I am about to be 25, and as such, am at the age where it feels like all of my friends are either getting married or are about a week from the big question. Obviously, I am single. I have been single for a while now. And the thought that constantly plagues me is that my choices as a rebellious teenager are coming back to haunt me, that I have been marked as unworthy by my maker for those sins. But, God is full of grace, and he knew I needed to read this today; to know that he doesn’t have it out for me. It really is just about trusting his plan and his timing, and he thought I might need a little reminder of that. :)

  3. Frank says:

    i do feel very much that God is punishing me for not having a love life like so many very lucky men and women have, especially having a family together. i can’t seem to meet the right woman for me, since there are so many very mean women out there today. why should i be alone, and not find happiness? i did not do anything wrong in my life for this to happen to me. i was married at one time myself, and i was a very caring and loving husband before she cheated on me. now finding love again is very hard for me, and i certainly hate so much being alone too.

  4. Mavis says:

    Thank you for this article. It really encouraged me today.

  5. Chris says:

    I am in my mid fifties and have always longed for marriage but it hasn’t happened. My life has been so lonely and even though I have done my best to help others and to make a life for myself, I feel that my life has been a total waste of time because of being alone. I have no family at all and have serious health issues which makes singleness even harder to bear. I have done online dating for 15 years but have never found it easy as I am autistic. I don’t know what I have done wrong as I feel all the time that God is punishing me.

  6. Buc says:

    GOD will continue my torture until I divorce this gambler,go off grid,become his agent of love, live as he has directed for me to live,and embrace transition to share myself with others as transgender body of giving pleasure to others.Until these are done I will remain DAMNED

  7. Buc says:

    GOD will continue to torture me until I divorce this gambling addict , live as I am supposed to, be an agent of change to certain people who need GOD s delivery, transition to transgender and use my body to bring pleasures to those I should service. Util I do this I will remain as I am depressed suicidal and despised by all around me and live a wasted frustrated and DAMNED existence

  8. Reality says:

    If God isn’t punishing me then where is my wife and family today?

  9. Dominic says:

    After being a Faithful and Loving boyfriend my girlfriend is set up with a so called good Christian man by her so called good Christian mother and now their living in sin but because I was not an every Sunday go to church guy I was a Sinner but I guess because this guy is at church every weekend he is better then me and his sinning is overlooked! Where is God to punish this HYPOCRITE?

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