April 23, 2010

obedience, or why I'm an idiot

Did I share with you how the Lord has been teaching me obedience, through my first graders? Well. Let's just say there are a million parallels between me and a 7 year old. When I ask them to do something or tell them not to do something, and they shine me on or blatantly ignore me, it makes me frustrated, and even angry. When really, what I am asking of them is not going to hurt them or ruin them, but instead, it is for their benefit and for the benefit of the class. I really do want what's best for them. Yet, they decide that they want to just do whatever they had in mind, because, well, they of course know best.

When I was able to see it that way, it helped me to become a lot more detached from the frustration (which of course is still there), and see things in a new way... I walk around all the time thinking I basically know what's best. I may not tell myself that, but in the back of my mind, my selfishness outweighs my good intentions and I decide I actually know what's best. I decide to let my sin win. Because, I actually know that it's a good idea to keep gossiping, even when I totally hear the Holy Spirit telling me otherwise. Yet, I decide to shine him on, and tell him that he doesn't have control, and that his plans aren't best. I act just like a 7 year old.
Despite the huge age difference, between me and my students, I act just like them. I decide to act in sin, rather than obedience, when really, the Lord does want what is best for me. And instead of pouting when I have to pay the consequences for my stupidity, I should be praising God for his discipline. Because, he's only disciplining me to bring himself more glory and draw me closer to him. (Which was always his plan, I just decided to mess it up and then come back around the long, hard way).

So rather than getting more upset when the Lord disciplines me, I should be praising him. Because, in his love, he's gracious enough to be patient and wait for me to recognize his perfect plan. He offers me grace in each moment; from the beginning, during and after I decide to sin. But he won't force me to love him, he doesn't force me to repent and choose grace.

When I was thinking about that the other night, I remembered a verse that talks about the Lord disciplining those he loves.
"These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent..." Revelation 3:14-20

The Lord disciplines me because he loves me. I'm so glad he takes the time for this, rather than letting me run aimlessly in my own way. When I get a glimpse of this, I can't help but be overwhelmed by him. He is too good to me, and his grace is too much.

3 comments:

slynnt said...

Amen.

grace said...

I posted that same passage just before you did :)

Sarah Love said...

i love this!