Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Who do you trust?

So, imagine you are struggling with something you are being tempted to do. Say there is someone at work you find attractive and it's a serious struggle for you not to think about or talk to that person. You're married! You know adultery is wrong!

Or, say you've actually had an affair and are torn. You know it was wrong!

Or, what if you are being tempted to cheat on a college exam...or use drugs...or steal from your boss...

Who do you talk to about it?

I mean, really think of that person. Who is that one person you talk to about things? 

Why do you talk to them?

Is it because they will look at you in disgust and tell you how awful you are? Is it because you know they will judge you, turn their back on you, and maybe blast your shame out on social media for all to see?

Generally, I have to assume "you" are like "me" and you go to people you think will understand your struggle...and not judge you. You go to someone who you believe will see "you" above whatever the particular thing actually is and will help you...help you figure out what to do to fix whatever it is.

That person is usually called what? If not your best friend, a close one, right? At the very least...this person is called your friend.

So, how about your children? Think about them. If they had any temptations or actual failures they were struggling with right now...would they come to you with them? Would they feel safe with you? Would they feel you could see "them" and not their struggle? Would they feel confident you would help them? Do they see you as a friend?

Spanking and punishing is used with the intention to deter "bad behavior" but ask yourself this, "Can it prevent bad decisions from happening?" 

Spanking...no matter how rightly or consistently you think you're doing it...cannot create perfect sinless people, can it? So, no matter how much you spank or punish your children...even if they've been fully convinced of what's right and wrong...they will be tempted and they will sometimes fail. 

So, then what? Then who will they turn to? 

Do you suppose that if you haven't already been made aware of whatever it is, that they will want to volunteer this information to you when what you have to offer is punishment?

Their temptation or failure is already punishing them, and they're struggling because they already know they can't do what they're being tempted to do, or shouldn't have done what they did, so what they need is a way out...a way to fix what they did. 

So, who are you driving your kids to go to for advice at times like this? They will seek out, as do we, those who will not judge them for what they've done, but sadly this is usually peers. Is that who you want your children going to for advice and guidance when sin is crouching at their door?

Tell me...do you fear taking your temptations and failures to God? If you don't...and your children fear coming to you...are you parenting God's way?

God is our Father and we are told to be like Him...
Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.
Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

What are we to imitate?
Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.
He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.
This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.”
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
You are My friends if you do what I command you.
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God.
Sin punishes.
Sin hurts.
God saves. God protect. God leads. God teaches/disciplines. God guides.

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

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