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Obedience And Maturity

Posted by Lorraine Serra on November 17, 2010 at 7:22 AM

Because neither of our young high school men read my blog, I feel it safe to share a real life lesson that happened last night and this morning.


The reason it spoke so loudly to my heart is that the principle of obedience and the consequences of disobedience are so real.


Evidently, yesterday was the big “release” day for some new video games, and each of our sons has a friend who invited them over to check out their new acquisitions.  I agreed to drive each son to his friend’s house, as long as homework was handled since it would be after 9 pm when I picked them up.


They came home tired, grumpy and in need of a warm bed.    This morning, our young freshman who catches the 6:25 am bus, dragged himself out of bed at the last minute, mumbling about being exhausted and not in possession of a certain English essay outline assignment.  What?!?


“Now I’ll have to rush and do it, and it will be trash, cuz school sucks and I’m tired and I hate getting up at 6 o’clock and “….gripe, complain, mumble, blame. 


“Mmm, that’s a bummer,” I offered. “Well, you can ask God for strength, but He can’t bless disobedience.”


“I knew I shouldn’t have told you.  Now you’re calling me an idiot!”  So defensive!


“No, but you made a choice.  You wouldn’t be all stressed out and grumpy now if you had spent your time a little differently last night.”


“Yes, you are!  You’re saying it without saying it.  You’re calling me an idiot!”


“I don’t have to say it, you already know it.”


“I’m out of here.  I’m going to school.”


“I love you.  Have a great day.  God bless you.”


As parents of teenagers, we expect these outbursts from time to time.  It is part of growing up.


The thought occurred to me that the price of maturity is sometimes painful.   Will the consequences of our wrong choices, our disobedience serve to build us up in that maturity or plant seeds of bitterness and blame?

 

Blame is the absence of maturity.  Defensive attitudes signal guilt.  Our son knew he blew it, but directed his anger at me rather than rightly at himself.   Should I reward that behavior?  Nope.


Should he then expect God to bless that behavior?   Nope.  But God blesses the repentant heart which expresses sorrow and the desire to hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Matt 5)


I’m just as guilty.   Daily I make choices, small, subtle choices that disobey the commands of my loving Lord.  At times I fail to care properly for my temple by poor eating, not exercising, or resting for health.  That is disobedience.   I may be less than attentive to my husband.  That is disobedience.  


I confess that I allow stuff to pile up and I procrastinate.  God is a God of order, and peace with an intentional plan.  Am I more like Him today?  Did I even try?  Did I ask for His Holy Spirit’s management and direction?   That is disobedience.


Am I fretting and anxious over something?  That is disobedience.  Is “self” more powerful in getting my attention than pleasing the Lord?


Conscious choices.  That is what maturity is about. When I experience the natural consequences of disobedience: anxiety, heartburn, weight gain, frustration, stiffness, strained relationships, I will have only myself to blame, the same self that so badly needed satisfaction in the moment, rather than submission to the Lordship of Christ.   Thank God for His endless mercy!


I’m sure our son’s English essay outline will suffice for the rough draft.   But, his heart needs editing; my heart needs editing.   This life we are living needs the instruction of the Master to produce the final polished story.

 

 


Categories: Marriage & Family, Blog

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4 Comments

Reply Lorraine Serra
8:14 AM on November 20, 2010 
Oh Val,
I will most certainly pray for Gwen. And I'll pray that God will use you in her life. I'm praying she feel His undying love and compassion through you. She doesn't know it yet, as you and I do, that when we are at our lowest, God will be strong. Peace comes to those who keep their eyes stayed upon Him. God be with you, Val, and I pray, Lord, reveal Yourself in tender mercy to Gwen today. Use these struggles, Lord, to draw her to the only One Who can give her the hope she so desperately needs. Shield her from the satanic attacks and vanquish the enemy, O Our Mighty God, for Your glory! Give her a song of joy and a testimony of Your greatness. She needs a God-story, Lord. She needs You, Blessed Savior.
Reply Val
8:09 AM on November 19, 2010 
All of what you both have said is so true and I am so thankful!

On my heart this morning is a woman at my school that needs prayer! She cannot see the goodness of God and spelled out a plan to me to commit suicide. Would you please join me in praying continually for Gwen? She has been through much and really needs our prayers. I am praying that Satan not get the victory here, at this time she is not a believer.....
Reply Lorraine Serra
6:48 AM on November 19, 2010 
Hi there, Linda.
Thanks for sharing Romans 2:4. That is so rich and powerful, more than we can even grasp at fresh glance. I know what you mean, though. When I meditate on all that I have been saved FROM, eternal death, wailing and gnashing, unquenchable fire, separation from God, I am so grateful that He is overwhelmingly kind! His goodness in the face of my sin is truly an undeserved gift! Halleluia! I, too, want to praise Him and please Him. God bless!
Reply Linda
3:26 PM on November 18, 2010 
Good job, Mom. Oh what a blessing to be able to bring truth to a child while they are still under your roof! And daunting. Your right. The price of maturity is painful. Truth can be painful. It's so much easier to blame. But the cost of going that route is tremendous. I'm seeing the results firsthand in some of my family members. Self deception leads to ruin.

I loved what I heard in Bible study this morning. We're studying the attributes of God and this week it's: God is Good. What jumped out at me was this verse in Romans 2:4: "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" Wow. The kindness of God leads me to repentance. When I focus on how kind He is, that's a motivation for obedience.....because He loves me....I want to show Him I love Him by my actions. Thanks so much for the lesson!