Mom and Dad did it by using a buckle free black belt and restricting me from things I enjoyed.
My parents didn’t distinguish between punishment and discipline as some do. In their mind, both were synonymous. And regardless of what they or anyone else called it, their purpose was to conform me to their expectations—and more importantly God’s. Rarely did I appreciate their attempts. After all, I was a rebel at heart. But when I became a parent, I found myself attempting to conform my children too—albeit it with some different disciplinary tactics. Regardless of which tactics I or my parents used, the intent was identical: to conform actions to God’s standards.
As the perfect heavenly parent, God makes a similar attempt to mold me into a closer representation of Jesus’ image. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29 NKJV)
My responsibility is to respond obediently to God’s conforming attempts. Life proceeds smoother when I do. He has my best interests at heart with whatever methods he uses. Obedience is more comfortable when I actually believe this.
On the occasions when I’m able to discern the exact measures God is using, I must also respond immediately. Obstinate disobedience to my parents only prolonged the agony. When I conformed immediately, the discipline lessened.
Anything God uses to conform me to the image of his Son enhances the quality of life and my spiritual journey. But I must also hunger to be aligned. God won’t force me along in my spiritual journey even though he wants me to reposition. I must choose to respond obediently and joyfully.
Are you eagerly responding to God’s attempts to form you into a more accurate representation of him?
Prayer: Thank You Lord God that You care enough to move us from sinful tendencies so we might better represent You in this world.
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