I am in need of correction. There it is. Finally, something you can all agree with me about!
Okay, okay. Let me explain that. I'm not referring to any specific correction right now, whether it be in my teaching, parenting, relational skills, or morality. I need correction, generally. I need correction in all those things. Specifically, I need God to bring correction in my life.
Imagine the Christian life without God's correction. Imagine coming to Him "as we are", then being left like that forever. The failure you were before is the failure you'll always be. Well, that's not very encouraging. I want to be different than how He found me! I want to be like Him. I want to treat people well. I want to have a good attitude. I want to be patient and loving and merciful and...much more like Jesus than I am today. I need help. I need guidance. I need correction.
We have two dogs. They're good-sized and spend much of their time outside. We have an invisible fence that keeps them from leaving the yard. It works quite well for them (and us). Basically, that means they spend a lot of time patrolling the borders and barking at people, animals, and cars that they can't get to. It's beyond annoying.
So, we bought them bark collars that are controlled by a remote. When they bark, we have the option to send a warning "beep", a buzz, or a moderate shock. Once they're trained, a beep is usually all they need. The goal isn't to punish them for barking. The goal is to train them to stop. If it proves ineffective, we'll look for another solution. But the goal isn't so that I feel better because I get to give them a "zap" when they annoy me. That's punishment and it's not to benefit anyone but me.
Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
The correction (discipline) God uses is meant to bring about change. It produces something good. That's the point of the correction. Restorative. This is something different than punishment.
I need correction in my life, not punishment. So do you (btw). Do we understand the difference? One is meant to help us. The other doesn't help us at all.
Peter denied Christ, stuck around, and received correction. He became more like Jesus afterward. I believe this is God's method. Restorative correction.
In the Old Testament (Oh yes! Most certainly also found in the OT), we find God working the same way. Even in what seems like a torrent of violent judgments pronounced on various nations and groups, there is a plan to restore. Look at what He says about a doomed Egypt in Isaiah 19:22. And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. Strike? Yes. Heal? Yes! Strike, then heal. The goal is to bring correction to Egypt, not simply to destroy them. This is the way God works.
Stop. Take that in.
Did you take that in? No? Then go back and take that in my friend. We're getting to know God here.
I discipline my children with hopes to bring about a change in their behavior and/or attitude (Pr. 22:15). The Book of Hebrews tells us that God works the same way with us. I suggest that the whole concept of loving correction has come to us by God. They (earthly fathers) disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. (Heb. 12:10) Disciplines us for our good. Our good. Not so that He feels better about it, but so that we are better for it. God is good.
Stop. Take that in too.
Dave became the Senior Pastor in April 2015 at TCC after serving as the Director of Children's and Praise Ministries for 9 years. He graduated in 2011 from A.W. Tozer Seminary with a Masters in Christian Leadership. He and his wife, Katie, live in Sequim with their 6 children, 2 dogs, 15 chickens, and 50,000 honeybees.
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