Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Grab Bag of Options

Discipline is a redemptive act.

Looking at the Bible and as I get to know God more and more, this statement becomes more and more true to me, it makes perfect sense to me, the problem is that everyone else seems to have a problem with the statement.

God gave Israel the Law (Ten Commandments). This was an act of love though, no one sees that though. Back in the day when God choose Israel and was leading Moses there were other people besides Israel worshipping other gods (false identities really). We don’t see this in the bible as clearly as history tells us though. A historical study of that culture in that time would reveal this, the worship of idol gods. The problem with those gods was that their followers never knew what to expect. These gods were like hormonal charged teenage girls, always something different and unforeseen. If it rained then that must mean they were happy so they would dance, if this happen then they’d do that, if that happened then they’d do this. It was this big guessing game that took them in circles that began and ended with uncertainty. God gave Israel the Law to tell them who He was and what He expected out of them so there wouldn’t be any questions. That’s revolutionary!

The bible says that a parent who doesn’t love their child hates them (Proverbs 13:24) and that the Lord only chastens those He loves (Hebrews 12:6-11). There is this idea that God is redeeming things, bringing things back to the way they were in the beginning. He sent prophets to Israel to preach repentance, so they would turn back to Him. The word perseverance is popular in Christian circles too. Trials bring about persecution. There is always hope through discipline or trials because they are supposed to be redemptive in nature.

I’ve learned over the last few weeks as I have seen gossip sneaks its ugly little head into the body of believers, families not practice forgiveness, and people hate discipline, that no one likes discipline because they don’t like to be hurt. Then there is the absurd argument of, “Where’s the grace?” Grace is always around, but when does one become a pansy and stop standing up for anything because he wants to be graceful, but then again, he dare not be harsh and call out everything. I think this is an odd thing because as I see more and more Christians, or at least people who claim to follow Jesus, through His ways out the window I am more and more convicted that they need good Biblical discipline. Who wants that though?

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8, NIV). The idea is that we cannot get these mixed up. If one loves justice and forgets mercy then he becomes harsh and legalistic, but if one loves mercy and forgets justice then he is a push over and doesn’t stand for what God does.

Interesting balance I think. What do you think? Justice, Mercy, or both, if so how much of both, what is the better side to error on. Do you hate discipline?

No comments:

Post a Comment