The Law and Grace. Day twenty-eight...
In raising my three children, the hardest thing for me was to discipline them and to love them at the same time. It was much easier to either discipline them or to love them—but not to do both at the same time.
Kids require a lot of discipline. And I always felt guilty that I seemed to have to spend more time teaching them right from wrong than I did in just loving them.
But now that my children are adults, I realize that love without discipline is not really love, and discipline without love is not really discipline. (Hopefully, I demonstrated this principle intuitively—at least most of the time—back when I didn't fully understand it.)
I think children born and raised in a healthy family environment inherently understand this principle.
It appears to me that a healthy child who is misbehaving, frequently wants to be reined in. It's as if he or she is saying to you as the loving parent, “I'm out of control and can't stop. Please help me.” It's like the child is asking for correction and direction.
While I know of no study to defend my observation, I saw this pattern in each of my three children as they were growing up. Each time, after they were disciplined, they seemed to be more at peace.
I am convinced that a child finds security in a discipline based on love.
But what about the opposite situation? As is commonly understood, insecurity develops in a child when discipline has no basis in love. That's nothing but child abuse.
But I am equally convinced that a child also develops insecurity in an environment that loves without consistent correction and direction from his or her parent/s.
When parents refuse to provide consistent direction and correction for their children, the love those parents demonstrate is not about looking after the best interests of the child. Such a twisted love is all about the selfish interests of the parent.
So why shouldn't we find security in the Lord's correction and direction? (Doesn't God love us more than any parent could ever love a child?)
Well, we should—for all of us who are new covenant believers living under grace. But we act more like new covenant believers living under the old covenant. Let me explain.
During the period from the time God gave Moses the Law until the time Jesus walked the earth, mankind lived with a conscience of sins, because the Law could not make perfect those living under the Law.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. (Hebrews 10:1 NASB)
Otherwise these sacrifices would have removed the people's conscience of sins.
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (Hebrews 10:2 KJV)
But those under the law did still have a conscience of sins.
David wrote Palm 51 in response to his sin with Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah the Hittite.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:10–11 NKJV)
But under the new covenant our spirit was made perfect whenever we believed on Jesus.
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to
flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now
Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:16–19 NKJV)
You have an advantage over David.
God does not have to renew a steadfast spirit within you. As a new‐covenant believer your spirit has already become new. You are a new creation—as long as you identity with your spirit.
You can, however, refuse to accept the fact that Jesus made your spirit brand new. And you can act as if you must cry out for God's mercy—every single day for the rest of your life, if you choose to. You certainly have the freedom to do so.
But you already have God's mercy—in the form of His grace, the person of Jesus.
As we begin to understand His grace we have no need to feel insecure in our relationship with Him. God corrects us in His love as well as directs us in His love.
Have a good weekend,