We sometimes think that God’s forgiveness lets us off the hook. What a self-centred deception! Because you sinned other people got hurt.

God says, “I will correct you with justice. I won’t let you go entirely unpunished” (Jeremiah 30:11b God’s Word).

There’s two things here.

First, God will leave a message in your flesh, but not like a human panel of power over another. God uses justice. The evidence gathered (God knows what you did, really, not affected by gossip or lazy investigation) God applies not only an appropriate punishment, but one designed to teach (“Then you will know that I am God”). God’s purpose will never include malice or hateful revenge.

The other point is that God will temper the punishment. You won’t get all you deserve! While God does correct, it will show evidence of God’s mercy and fairness through true justice.

So, confess your sin. God will forgive (1 John 1:9). And then take the lesson of correction God decides to apply, knowing if you accept it humbly, it may prevent you repeating that mistake.

Hear God say, “I have certainly heard Ephraim mourn and say, ‘You disciplined me, and I was disciplined. I was like a young, untrained calf. Turn me, and I will be turned, because you are the Lord my God. After I was turned around, I changed the way I thought and acted. After I was taught a lesson, I hung my head in shame. I was so ashamed and humiliated, because of all the stupid things I have done ever since I was young’ ” (Jeremiah 31:18-19 God’s Word).

Take your lumps; God will work it for your good (Romans 8:28).