Friday, November 14, 2008

Ouch! That Hurts!

My oldest brother, who is passed on now, was full of little nuggets of "wisdom". He sought them out, I guess, all his life. He had a good head on his shoulders. He mastered most everything he did; whether hunting, fishing, baseball, his trade, writing poetry and short stories. He never mastered guitar though ..which my other brother and I (both guitarists) often held over his head! His favorite nugget of wisdom, when I did something dumb, was "don't do that anymore." Whether it was physically hurting myself, or any sort of foolish mistake, he would always gently, yet directly, state.... "don't do that anymore." Simple enough, huh?

Many times, however, he chose not to use his own wisdom. In fact, I guess foolishness led to his death. Nonetheless, he was a "good man". He truly was. He loved people, his family, his friends, and his God. I wish he would have listened to much of his own "wisdom". There was plenty of it.

Haven't you often wondered why it is that we "know" the right thing to do, but we just don't do it. The Apostle Paul wrestled with this (read Hebrews 7:15-25). King Solomon wrestled with it too. Scriptures holds Solomon, the son of David (a man after God's own heart) as "the wisest man to ever live". WOW! That's a pretty tall glass to fill. Surely there were other very wise people. But did you know that toward the end of King Solomon's life (as he, too, became king) he strayed from God's will. I mean, he consistently and deliberately seemed to do so (read 1 Kings 11:4-8). Not a stumble, fall, and get back up sorta' scenario ...but he built "idols" to other, false, gods. I guess one could blame it on his 700 or so wives!!! However, he made the decision. I mean, he was the King! God is no respecter of men ....not even kings!

I wonder why we know what to do, and don't do it. I suppose it all goes back to sin, and our own sin-nature. But we are without excuse. There is no reason to turn away from God. We hold, in Scripture, too many examples of the outcome of that! Yet, on to foolishness we go.

So, what if we learn to recognize "discipline", and recognize it for what it is? Whether from our earthly parents, or our heavenly Father, discipline is intended to bring us back into a right relationship, ultimately and especially with God.

If you ever feel "throttled", or choked by those in authority over you, or held back by the world ...take heart in knowing that discipline is for your good. Yeah, right, you say! Paul had some wisdom of his own to share, about discipline.

Hebrews 12:7-13
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

So, what if.... what if we begin to just "get over it" when we can't have our way. What if we learn that life is not "fair", that it's not all about us, that God is even bigger than our expectations of Him? There must be a great, and wonderful peace in "letting go, and letting God" we so often say.



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