Do we really want to become like Christ? Or, are we in love with the idea of being like Christ? They are different.
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.
We are going to “adjust” this verse just a little bit to read, “Those who disregard THE DISCIPLINES…” In other words, there’s work to be done here.
There are three layers to our psyche:
- Our temperament-Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic and/or Melancholy
- The Five Love Languages-Time, Touch, Words of Affirmation, Service and Gifts
- Our Birth Order-First Born Male, First Born Female, Second Born, Middle Born, Last Born (the baby)
Complicate these layers with our sin nature, and we get a mess! What is our sin nature?
- The lust of our eyes-What we see, we want! The passion that is generated by our hearts overwhelms us. Don’t believe me? Take a five-year-old to the candy or toy isle at Walmart and you’ll see it in action!
- The lust of our flesh-We can’t resist that donut or extra cup of joe, the seconds on what tastes good or that apple pie (a la mode). And let’s not talk about our sexual desires…
- Our pride of life-We are the most important person in our lives. We want wealth, security, power, control, to be important, to be admired, and to be loved. We will steal, kill, and destroy to get them. Sound familiar? “The thief [Satan] comes to steal, kill and destroy…” John 10:10a. We were just like our daddy, the devil. “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44.
Praise God for the Holy Spirit! Through Christ, we died to our sinful nature and are raised to walk in newness of life in Christ! We are new creations!!! We are crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us. From now on, if we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, He will help us overcome our sinful nature, reorganize our temperaments, understand our love languages, and accommodate our birth order.
Here’s the biggie: WE NEED TO TUNE IN FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. The longer we wait, the more set in our ways we become and the more damage we might do. Reading the Bible first thing in the morning opens our hearts and minds to His leadership and guidance. It’s how we breathe spiritually: Breathe in His words and his life; exhale our sin and self. REPEAT. His Spirit displaces our bad side and pushes it right out! WE ARE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT!
There is an added benefit to having your quiet time with the Lord first thing in the morning. If you’ll do it so that your family can see you interacting with the Father, it will be a source of comfort to them knowing that you are striving to be like Christ and a subtle encouragement for them to do the same. There is a warning: If they interrupt us while we are reading/praying, we must practice patience and gentleness even as we instruct them that it needs to be really important. Waiting is a virtue; teach them how (it usually requires long-suffering…).
Being so complicated gives us insight to the true nature of God. He is much bigger than we are, so we will spend the rest of eternity plumbing the depths of the richness of His attributes. Amen and amen!
Abba, You are amazing. You are wonderful. You are glorious. I marvel at Your goodness, Your patience and long-suffering; I wonder at your Plan, which you have been working since the beginning. I glory in the promise that you will bring all things to unity in Christ sometime soon. I can hardly wait! Until then, I am Your humble servant. Use me as You see fit, O LORD. Amen.