I follow @myutmost on Instagram. It is daily postings from another hero of mine, Oswald Chambers and his classic devotional book, My Utmost For His Highest. As with most great classic devotional writers, the words can cut to the heart. It is strange to scroll happily to those sorts of cuts put on a pretty picture on Instagram.
Yesterday, I scrolled to read this one:
"It is not only God who punishes for sin, but sin establishes itself in the sinner and takes its toll."
Oh man, this is great! Can I see how sin takes its toll on my life IS punishment? The consequences of sin do not even need to be dolled out BY God.
Those consequences do the teaching. The natural consequences of my sin do their own punishing. We like to blame God for punishing us. "God, I thought you loved me. Why are you punishing me?"
Often what we think is punishment might just be the natural consequences of our own sinful choices.