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An Essential Part of the Process

Part of the current defund the Police movement is based upon removing discipline from America’s Justice System. Yet, as a former high school teacher, once you remove discipline from a classroom chaos ensues. As District Attorneys in major cities across the country continue to lessen the penalties for breaking the law, this has given birth to a Smash and Grab mentality. When major retailers have given up on certain unsafe locations, this highlights that discipline is an essential part of the process in life.

You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? – Hebrews 12:7

Whether you’re a coach, friend, parent or teacher, disciplining anyone isn’t easy. Proper discipline requires consistency and an immense amount of energy. If the person you are trying to help is defiant and not teachable, you’ll find yourself emotionally drained. Yet, when you say the wrong thing at the wrong time, this will likely hinder any progress that you’ve made in helping this individual. Tough love is difficult to display, but it is an essential part of the path to recovery.

Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all], Hebrews 12:8.

The author of Hebrews compares life to running a marathon, filled with unexpected detours and obstacles along the way. Whenever you’re running, if it’s too hot, you may have to shed various layers of clothing along the way. Over the course of life, people tend to collect and gather unnecessary possessions that can weigh you down over time. Discipline may be used to help you distinguish what’s important from what you no longer need. In the end, parents resort to discipline to shape and train children into the people God wants them to become making this painful exercise an essential part of the process.

by Jay Mankus

God’s Dress Code for Life

I spent a decade as a teacher trying to force teenagers to comply with our private school’s dress code. On chapel days boys were forced to wear a dress shirt and tie while girls were required to put on a modest dress. Since this worship service immediately followed homeroom, male and female teachers quickly tried to address rule breakers before walking over to the sanctuary. The unpleasant experience of disciplining students distracted me from worshiping God.

Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper], Colossians 3:12.

In a letter to the Church at Colosse, the apostle Paul refers to a different kind of dress code. Instead of putting on a specific attire daily, Paul opens minds to putting on spiritual clothing. These articles are like layers of clothing human beings put on as the weather changes each winter. However, God’s dress code involves biblical qualities that coincide with the character and nature of Jesus Christ.

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. 14 And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony], Colossians 3:13-14.

The context of chapter 3 begins by putting on the mind of Christ. This is a starting point that requires new Christians to put to death their old self. If you can imagine this process as a form of meditation, believers need to reprogram their minds by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to commence this transformation. Unfortunately, this change can take a lifetime. While following God’s dress code may be a drag for many, the sooner you comply, your chances to improve open the door for you to experience ideal harmony.

by Jay Mankus

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