Originally published Tuesday, 20 November 2012.
"Your rod and staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)
I don't know about you, but rods and staffs, those were tools of discipline in my home.
Ok well not exactly a rod, more like a wooden spoon but when you're on the tail end of it, it's pretty much the same thing.(Can I get a witness? Yup, that just happened.)
But in the phases of life, there are transitions.
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child." (1Cor13:11)
When I got in trouble, I knew there were consequences. I knew they sometimes came in the form of a wooden spoon. I knew that reasoning was not an option (with me) because I was stubborn.
I remember one time, my brother and I were whining and fighting in the garage as my mother was attempting to talk to a neighbor. A couple times she asked us to stop. "It's not very becoming," she'd say.
We didn't, of course.
So she turned to me and said, with her stern face, "Go to your rooms. I will be there in a second."
We ran as fast as we could into the house and talked through our elementary game plan.
"Go get Julissa. We'll lock ourselves in the bathrooms, and have her bring us pitchers of water so that we'll keep drinking and always have to pee. Then, Mom can't spank us. Because we're in the bathroom!"
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a (wo)man, I put childish ways behind me.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:11-15)
The maturing process of a Christian is very similar to that of a child; no matter what age you are saved.
In both realms, discipline is meant for protection.
As children, rods and staffs, they aren't comforting. They are painful, seemingly unnecessary and emit "consequence" to us. But they are done out of the love of our parents.
When my Momma slapped my hand as I went for the stove, she knew I was going to get burned. When my Dad made me change my booty shorts before youth group, he knew they were wildly inappropriate for the occasion and my age.
Parent's don't (or shouldn't) enjoy disciplining their children, but it's their responsibility from the Lord.
As adults, the discipline we received as children helped guide us along to maturity and wisdom. We can see now that the discipline for whining and fighting was to eliminate that habit from my life. Who wants to hang around an adult whiner or complainer??
As new believers, there are things we cannot know are right or wrong without the guidance of a Father, leading us, carrying us, nudging us and disciplining us along the way.
As mature believers, have perspective and comfort in that training. It was a Father, raising up His children in maturity.
I hate discipline. And I use to fight it. But God has been showing me more and more, how necessary it is for my life. It's only awful if I don't learn. It's beautiful if I do.