Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
My friend, may I ask you a question today? If God calls us to responsibility in life, when we error does God will that we accept responsibility for our errors? Does he punish us for our failures, or is his will for us to take it upon ourselves to suffer his discipline without feinting?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
For a video link to this devotion, go to: https://www.lifehacker.com/how-to-start-your-own-podcast-1709798447
I’ve worked for many bosses over the years. Some have been easier than others, but there wasn’t a one I didn’t have regard for. These men and women signed my paycheck, decided if I was worthy of my position, and, most importantly, dealt with my mistakes as well as my successes. The measure of the boss-employee relationship, however, was based on how well mistakes were dealt with. One mistake in particular comes to mind when I think about my mistakes. I was supervising a staff of several dozen print shop workers, one of whom had been caught stealing from the company. I was aware of the theft and called the culprit to my office. I had done this after sharing the problem with my boss. Her instructions were to make sure I put the interests of the company first. I decided to give the employee a warning and sent him back to his job. In return he stole even more, and this time it was an expensive piece of equipment. I fired him on the spot and then made my report to the boss. She was irate with me and dinged me on my next pay raise. I listened, took the criticism and offered an apology. The pay raise ding was difficult, but I deserved that. The discipline went with the territory and the lesson wasn’t wasted on me, as I never found myself equivocating on an issue like that again.
God calls us to responsibility in life. We may error, and that is bound to happen, but God wills that we accept responsibility for our errors and whatever discipline he applies. He will never punish us solely for our failures, but his will is that we take it upon ourselves his discipline in order to become wise in his ways.
Here’s a thought from Dorothy Sayers. “The divine ‘scheme of things,’ as Christianity understands it, is at once extremely elastic and extremely rigid. It is elastic, in that it includes a large measure of liberty for the creature; it is rigid in that it includes the proviso that, however created beings choose to behave, they must accept responsibility of their own actions and endure the consequences.” (Dorothy L. Sayer, Dorothy L. Sayer: A Rage for Life.)
Hebrews 12:5 states. “‘ . . . My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.’” God punishes the sin but not the sinner. That’s why we should never feint from accepting his discipline when we do the wrong thing in life, departing from his will for us. His target is sin and not Mark Brunner or you. I believe that this is what my boss was concerned with as well–making sure that the message was sent to all supervisors, not just me. You and I have the liberty to make mistakes, since that’s how God made us from the start. The pathway from Eden to Beech Springs is strewn with man’s mistakes. God has and will correct these with his discipline. It’s not always easy to receive it since it doesn’t seem logical that God’s grace includes his discipline? But, when we remember that it’s never personal with God, that somehow he has got it in for you and I personally, acceptance is a lot easier. He can’t tolerate sin and we should never stand in his way of purging it.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the liberty to make our own decisions in life, and especially thank you for never blaming us for our errors. Forgive us, Lord, when we feint at the prospect of enduring the inevitable discipline that must result from our sin. Help us Lord not only to endure this, but find comfort in it. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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