I’m going through Beth Moore’s book study Breaking Free right now. Michelle gave it to me for my birthday, after having gone through it herself earlier this year and finding it tremendously helpful. So far it has been, helping to loosen the chains of captivity and bondage and all those fun 21st Century Christian words.
This week I’m right in the middle of the obedience week. It has opened my eyes to myself more than perhaps any previous week in the study.
I have a discipline problem.
I can’t really say I grew up with a good respect for discipline (no offense, Mom — I’m not hurling insults, just stating observation). In fact, I was spoiled, often bossing myself as a child and adolescent. I would push my parents and not ever feel much resistance. I didn’t like being told what to do, I didn’t (well don’t) like submitting to authority. This is not the same as saying I’m rebellious. Growing up I was well-behaved, but my inner response to my parents or teachers telling me what to do was resentment and pride and a more accurate term I like using is “scoff.” Okay well maybe I have had a tendency to play with fire, but I always kept that tendency deeply hidden. It exhibited itself mainly in the friends I chose and the guys I liked — the black sheep.
Anyway. The Bible says that Christ disciplines his children because he loves them. Hrm. Okay, based on what I wrote above, I didn’t have much of a model for that. Yes my parents love(d) me, that’s not what I’m implying — just that their discipline was a bit lacking. Which is all fine and good, but God’s not going to put up with me trying to boss him.
My circumstances of late have been difficult. I won’t go on listing them here, but life’s been hard and grotty for the past couple of
days weeks months and it was during this week of study that I realized it wasn’t because of something I inherently or inadvertantly did wrong, but that God was disciplining me. Not for his good, but for my own, because like I said, God disciplines those he loves. Which is why, when I was telling my roommates about this earlier in the week, I mentioned that I didn’t feel this way several years ago, but that’s because I didn’t belong to God back then.
But I have to say that realization — that God cares enough about me that he doesn’t want me to suffer from my own pride and obstinance and he’ll wring it out of me if he has to because he loves me — has caused my affection for him to grow ten-fold. It makes me want to be obedient, not to just put on the “obedience face.” I don’t think that fools God, anyway.