Friday, October 14, 2011

Protective Love Can Cause Withdrawal Pains

Every loving parent knows there are times they need to disciple their children, and it causes their children to feel pain. They cry They are sad. They suffer. And, they are angry with you. They are oblivious to the truth that they are actually being protected.

When little Johnny cries because he can't sit on top of the oven and play with the dials his grief is real. But he is being loved. Only an unloving parent would allow Johnny to do this.

The pain of being-discipled has a telos, a purpose. I have not personally experienced a crack addict's withdrawal pains. I have had many crack addicts describe them to me. And, I have personally seen this. One time a crack addict came to our Sunday morning worship service while in the throes of withdrawal. His pain was very real. It was also necessary for his potential freedom from crack. Going through this pain would allow him hte opportunity to gain freedom.

Being-discipled by Christ causes withdrawal pains. We leave our nets to to follow after Jesus. I do not think this was easy for Peter the lifelong fisherman. When we follow after Christ we are called to leave behind many things. These include certain attitudes, behaviors, possessions, lifestyle, relationhips, and even our homes.

I am thankful for the times when I have been lovingly discipled. It was not pleasant at the time. Sometimes I resisted it. I felt anger and defensiveness. The truth was that I needed to look at my own self. In retrospect I see that such times protected me from sitting atop the oven and playing with the dials.