Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: First World Problem (04/17/14)
TITLE: Thank You Father May I Have Another?
By Keith Henry III
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If you are as old as I am you remember when spankings were common place, there were no laws, books, or guidelines governing when, why, or how to administer a spanking. There was the classic “put you over my knee” spanking, then the “wait till your father gets home” spanking, and the ultimate the “take you out behind the wood shed” spanking. Various tools, instruments, utensils were used in administering the spanking; there was the old standby, the belt, the wooden paddle, the switch, and of course the wooden spoon. Discipline was an art form then and most parents understood the fine line between abuse and discipline; they could wield their favorite tool of punishment like a master swordsman wields his sword. If you could have stepped out of yourself as you were receiving your discipline and looked down on your parent you would have stood in awe as to the grace and beauty in which they handed out your punishment. The art of discipline has all but disappeared. Even in the good old days would we ever have asked our parent for another spanking?
Nobody enjoys discipline; we ran, hid, screamed, cringed, stiffened up, and even padded our pants with pillows to lessen the pain. We certainly would never ask for another, but as Christians we should be crying out, “Thank you Father may I have another?” We should desire discipline. There are a couple of reasons why we should not run and hide from God’s discipline. The first of these reasons we find in Hebrews 12:7 “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” “Endure” because He is “treating you as a son.” “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29) Being “conformed to the likeness of His Son” and “treating you as sons” requires that we “endure” the hardship as discipline.” Why should we cry out “Thank You Father may I have another” so that we can grow into His children, children He handpicked, children He is conforming into the image of “His only begotten (we were adopted, but that is all right) Son.”
The second reason we should cry out “Thank You Father may I have another” is so that we may keep the first law of the world which is to obey. “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16, 17) Since Adam’s and Eve’s first spanking (if you will, I realize it was much harsher than a spanking) God has been trying, through His sovereign discipline, to get us to comply with the first law of the world. The more we ask “may I have another” as King David does in Psalm 139:23, 24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” the more natural it becomes for us to keep the first law of the world. The more we obey the Father, the more we look like Jesus; and that my friends, is a beautiful thing. So remember the next time you feel the sting of God’s discipline in your life, bend back over and cry out as loud as you can “Thank you Father may I have another?”
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