Saturday, February 19, 2011

Learning about Discipline

…We have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them.  Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
---Hebrews 11:6

Our friend's daughter, Pat, loved to climb a tree and jump out of it onto the flat roof of an old shed where she played and looked out across the countryside. Her father told her repeatedly not to do it because of the danger. He tried to impress upon her that she could get some serious injuries, but she happily went on, unaware of what might happen. That was her favorite place to play, and seven-year-old Pat loved clilmbing that tree!
Sure enough, one day as she jumped from the tree, she missed the roof and fell to the ground. The result was a painfully broken arm. My husband was their pastor, it was the middle of the day, and Pat's father was working. So my husband drove Pat and her mother to the hospital. Pat was in a lot of pain as they drove, her arm was at an odd angle, and the bone was even sticking out where the hard fall had injured it.
That night when her dad came home, he held little Pat on his lap and forgave her for not following his instructions. He did not punish her, knowing that she had finally learned her lesson. For several weeks, however, she had to endure the pain and discomfort of her arm healing, and put up with the inconvenience of not being able to use it, because she had disobeyed her father.
God warns us about things we need to leave out of our lives. Yet, we sometimes go on and on in our sin just like little Pat did, until God teaches us a lesson we won’t soon forget. Sin in our lives causes us to pay a price. Even though God forgives, we have to suffer the consequences. The misuse of our bodies brings its own consequences, because of the laws of nature.
Pat had to learn not to jump from the tree, just as we have to learn to get sin out of our lives.
When we deliberately sin, we must take the consequences.


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