Thursday, November 12, 2015

Reaction, not the Action

As a parent I am continually challenged by the various ways in which I need to discipline, encourage, and guide my children. While there is an overarching biblical direction by which I parent, I still have to approach each child differently.  For instance, one of my children's biggest struggle during discipline is not their action, but rather their reaction. I correct them on a specific issue, and their reaction creates a knee-jerk response that often lands them in more trouble than when they started, if they were even in trouble to begin with! The simplest thing can turn a non-situation into something that needs serious addressing.

Recently reading through 2 Chronicles 26 it struck me how Uzziah ran into this very same issue. He decided that he would walk into the temple and burn incense. Azariah and another 80 priests stood their ground against him that he should not do this, as it was the role of priests. In fact, Uzziah was plagued with leprosy over this incident, which ultimately lead to his death.

However it wasn't the burning of incense that caused it, it was something else. You see, leprosy broke out not when he walked into the temple, not when he held the censer in his hand, but when he became angry over their rebuke. It is after this that Scripture tells us he broke out in leprosy.

What can I learn from Uzziah thousands of years later? Perhaps the better question is what do we have in common at times, and without a hesitation I raise my hand and say "pride". 

Going back to my child, while I certainly need to discipline and guide, I must remember that while I correct, I too am being corrected. They may show pride in their reaction to a situation, but no differently than I can list out the times that pride creeps into my life. I cannot excuse sin, but I can show forgiveness like I have been forgiven. I am encouraged and free to correct my children, but may I also freely and openly accept being corrected by my heavenly Father.

May I not be like Uzziah, where I become hardened to a proper rebuke from godly counsel.

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