“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”
Revelation 3:19 (NIV)
John, the Revelator, has conveyed God’s word to the church at Laodicea. That church ‘was neither hot nor cold.’ The LORD wanted to ‘spew them out’ of His mouth.
The next words God speaks comprise our focus verse. “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.” My personal translation of those words is “Because I love you, I have to set you straight about your behavior.”
God then tells the church, “So be earnest and repent.” Here, again, is my translation: “Be honest, admit where you fall short, and then strive to do better.”
What would God say to us in the 21st Century? Would he have to spell out what our sin was? Back when I worked for the government, I sometimes had to train new employees. In my last job there, I had to use three different terms to explain to the new people what one or two terms meant before they would understand the process. This took patience.
When He corrects our behavior, God is patient with us. Sometimes, we might not learn that lesson the first time or the second time. When we do not learn what He wants us to learn, He gives us remedial lessons.