The Rod of God

A YOUNG woman who for years had been handicapped by a physical affliction was told by her pastor, who thought thus to comfort her, "You know, the Bible says, 'Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.' " Afterward, relating her experience, she said: "This brought me little solace. Indeed quite the opposite, for I could not reconcile that statement in Hebrews with John's words about God who is Love. How grateful I was later on, when I became a student of Christian Science, to learn the true meaning of the Scripture and of the word 'chasten'! All then became clear, for I found that our God is neither vindictive nor penalizing, and, moreover, is not the author of punishment at all, but quite the opposite. Divine Love, I learned, never causes suffering or sorrow, but heals these conditions and reforms character as the individual is regenerated spiritually."

The young woman's changed sense of chastening was the result of enlightened understanding. The verb "to chasten," according to Webster, means "to correct by punishment," and, more than that, "to purify from errors or faults." "Chasten" and its related verb, "chastise," spring from the same Latin root, castus, meaning pure.

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Embodying Good
September 19, 1942
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