Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 18 "EXCESSIVE FORCE"

The NFL has issued disciplinary action on one of it's elite players for using excessive force in disciplining his son. His contract with his team has been cancelled in lieu of the criminal charges against him, for using a tree branch to discipline his son, leaving marks, bruising and swelling on his son's body. No doubt there are parents out there that are too lazy to discipline their children or worse, simply just don't care! We have to deal with these children every week at Walmart. We pray that we could just have one moment alone with this child that is screaming as if he was being tortured, only to realize it's not that he's being tortured or kidnapped, he is screaming and raving because his mom told him he can't have the candy bar he grabbed by the cash register. So we have excessive discipline to no discipline and somewhere in the middle lies the balance. God is trying to give us wisdom through Isaiah, the wisdom that discipline is good, discipline is needed, but excessive discipline, discipline that is beyond the capacity of the recipient, can potentially crush and destroy, rather than bring the intended and hoped for results. "The farmer knows just what to do...God has given him wisdom, a heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cummin, rather it is beaten with a light stick...grain for bread is easily crushed....thresh it under the wheels of a cart, but don't pulverize it".  God is using all these metaphors to describe the wisdom in punishing. The Lord is getting ready to punish Israel, but in his punishment He will remember not to use excessive force, not to pulverize or He may crush them all together. God's purpose in punishment is always to heal and restore, not crush and destroy. We have churches that have no punishment, no disciplinary actions for anything. The Christians in their Church are like the kids at Walmart, totally undisciplined and unruly Christian they are! We have other Churches who have no discernment in punishing, their punishing often crushes, pulverizes and destroys, rather than redeem. Oh where, oh where do we find the balance? What is excessive and what is negligent? God speaking through Isaiah, says, "this requires wisdom and that wisdom He has given to the farmer, so the farmer can be productive and fruitful. As Parents, as Leaders, as Ministers, we desperately need this wisdom. Not everyone is to be dealt with in the same manner, go back and read the wisdom that God gives to the Farmer. In reading this passage today we should be thinking.... "I wonder if there are any that we crushed in are discipline. I wonder if there are any that could have been restored, redeemed, but we took a heavy sledge to thresh cummin and completely crushed that struggling Christian?" We always have to remember, that discipline is not to satisfy our anger, discipline is not to show everyone "who's boss", discipline is not to be vindictive, it's not a way for us to feel better, discipline is for the purpose of the one being disciplined, and in that respect, it is being administered to save them, not crush them. The discipline is being administered to restore and redeem and if we don't learn the wisdom of the farmer, we may one day have to answer for people that we crushed and pulverized in our discipline; when God wanted to redeem them, through discipline. "Lord give us the wisdom, that you have given the farmer, so we too can be productive and fruitful, Amen!