Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gloriously Busted

"How happy is the one whom God reproves; therefore, do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands heal."
(Job 5:17-18)

"Busted!"  Nobody likes getting caught doing wrong.  Nobody enjoys being scolded or reproved.  Some of us have experienced varying degrees of discipline over the course of our lives - from the "slap on the wrist" (basically looking the other way) to being "taken out to the woodshed" (physical beatings).

But not all discipline is created equal.  What comes from a well-spring of anger/resentment has quite different effects than discipline emerging from genuine love & concern.  Enter our passage today from Job 5.  It reminds us that God's discipline is a good thing for us.  Don't fight it!

God has set guidelines for how we are to live.  Rather than believe them to be "restrictive" and "oppressive," God's laws help us live with freedom, grace, joy & purpose!  When we act in contradiction to those standards, we do harm to ourselves & others.  So when God disciplines us (whether we receive it through reading scripture in our own quiet times, or other "more public" means), it's to help restore us to true wholeness (holiness!).  Whether we're pastors or children, God's discipline should never be feared.  Only embraced.  Sure, it will be uncomfortable for a while (no one likes getting 'found out').  But we'll come to know the healing power of being gloriously busted!  AMEN.

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