Contemporary English Version (CEV)
It's easy to say that the old law is completely bad, but that would be a mistake. It pointed forward, to what was to come, and it taught the people that they were not perfect and in need of God's grace.
Discipline is a tough subject. Rachel and I talk about it a lot--how to do it right without going overboard, communicating our love and yet the fact that some of the kids' actions are unacceptable. It's a tightrope, always trying to do the right thing without going too far in one direction, trying to teach the children how to grow while reminding them of our love.
God does the same for us. He disciplines us, reminding us of our sin, and yet he makes a path forward so that we can grow. We don't sit in sin and despair -- we learn that sin is wrong and grow, recognizing the grace that abounds and the freedom we are afforded. Thanks be to God for pruning us so that we may continue to grow, for teaching us what is wrong so that we may cling to what is right.