Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: The author of Hebrews reminds us,
“In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” – Hebrews 12:4-11 MSG https://www.bible.com/bible/97/heb.12.4-11.msg
And secular researchers increasingly agree.
In the field of sports, these researchers discovered results that indicate the everyone-wins approach may not develop resilient athletes. Ian Leslie of the BBC summarizes (with traditional British spellings):
“the sports scientists Dave Collins and Aine MacNamara criticised the approach of most talent development systems in sport, which put an emphasis on maximising support to young athletes and reducing stress. The authors argued that these well-funded and high-tech coaching systems were making life too easy for young athletes, who needed moments of challenge or trauma in order to develop resilience. It’s the rocky road, not the smoothed path, that leads to greatness.“
Here is the cited research.
The rocky road to the top: why talent needs trauma.
We tend to under-estimate the power of setbacks.
Ian Leslie of the BBC continues, “… in general we tend to under-estimate the extent to which some kind of disadvantage or setback can, paradoxically, catapult people into higher achievement. Some people can turn the hurt and anger generated by a setback into a fierce will to succeed. By struggling against whatever forces they find pushing them down, they develop anti-gravity powers which lift them higher later on…
High achievers seem to find a way to perform a kind of mental alchemy, turning loss and disappointment into motivation. The flipside of this is that some who grow up with all their material needs met sometimes lack drive and direction as adults. That’s why some experts in talent development worry that children are not even being given the chance to experience setbacks.