Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beep, this is a test. This is only a test.

I don’t know if it’s just the age of my youngest daughter, or just her personality, or maybe both. But if things don’t go her way she has a tendency to jump up and down and throw a fit. It causes a lot of irritation in our home. I’m usually okay at ignoring it, until the feet come out stomping, kicking, and jumping and that is usually my breaking point for correction. Because I know this about her I have found myself purposely trying in some situations to change her pattern and allow there to be change in it, just so her reaction can be put in check. For example the other day both girls wanted to pray at the dinner table. I’ll never tell you that you can’t pray in my house however instead of letting the youngest go first, I let the oldest. I got the reaction I expected. The youngest threw a fit, but I was also able to look at my youngest in the eyes and correct her for her attitude.

I realized when I did this that sometimes I think God does the same to us. Don’t get me wrong He doesn’t conjure sickness and disease or anything contrary to the word. But I do think that sometimes He puts us in situations that may make us uncomfortable just so we can see what is inside of us. He sometimes works situations out in such a way that it shows us some character flaws that need worked on.

The Bible talks about discipline quite a bit. Here are just four scriptures.Proverbs 3:12 says, “because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”Proverbs 5:23 says, “He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.”Proverbs 10:17 says, “He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.”Proverbs 12:1 says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”

I have my own personal theory that if I can see my flaw and admit to it, then that puts me on the pathway of dealing with it and correcting it. If we never realize the flaw is there how will we ever correct it?

Sometimes it’s easy to see situations in your life that have been showing you your own shortcomings. Did someone get promoted before you? How did you react, did you really love them when you congratulated them or was that merely a fake hug? OR maybe you’re in a situation where someone just irritates you, and while you know you need to show them love you really want to lash out and smack them. Did you start going to a church and someone offend you? Are you going to quit or are you going to keep going?

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a 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.” We have to learn to show love at all times.

Sometimes we all can become like a three-year-old in our attitude. We all can get to the point that we want to jump up and down and scream. We can try to pout to God, or we can be more mature accept that shortcoming in yourself has been exposed and work on changing it. We are supposed to be more mature, but you have to choose to put the childish ways behind you. God loves who He corrects. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Realize some way somehow this situation will and can be worked out for good.

Be glad. God loves you. He loves you too much to let you continue to go forward without correcting some attitude that may need some adjustment. He loves you too much, and that’s a good thing. My kids will quote “be changeable and correctable.” We always have to have the attitude towards God that we don’t know it all, and we have to go forward in His leading. So if you find yourself in this situation today: just pick yourself back up, adjust your attitude, and keep on going. You’ll be glad you did.

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