Sunday, July 17, 2011
Time Out in the Big Chair
Most people understand that children need discipline. Without it, neither manners nor morals take hold and the resultant adults range from selfish to sociopaths. We want more, both for the sake of the forming human and for our own. We do, after all, have to live together.
I accept the need for childhood discipline, even when I have to administer it. It's harder to accept the need for my own. I am far from childhood, and when discipline comes from authorities in my own life, its source is often younger and less experienced. I don't like it one bit.
When someone feels the need to correct me, I also often find that the discipline's severity or emphasis outstrips the nature of the offense. We just want to control each other, to impinge our own wills on one another. We want our way. We want to win. I am just as guilty of this, but feel it most when I am on the receiving end.
Human authorities rule out of a need to prove their superiority. You do not do that. You have complete confidence in Your own rule, so You discipline for another motive. You do not discipline for Your benefit, but for mine.
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.--Hebrews 12:10
Adults correcting one another do so in full knowledge of their mutual imperfection. We often fear another's competence and confidence. As a result, we grind down one another's spirits, deflating and destroying, lacking love and redemptive goals. We fear exposure of our deficiencies.
You, however, do not need to prove anything. When You discipline, you teach with one hand and lift up with the other. You do not desire less for me, but more. You want me to learn and grow. Even more, You want me to know holiness. I welcome a time out for that.