Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me
I was talking with a friend today whose wife teaches sixth grade at a middle school. He said the new principal has a hard time making firm decisions about discipline and consequently the students are increasingly out of control. Last week while reading through Psalm 23, I reflected on the words, "your rod and your staff, they comfort me" and thought about how important and actually comforting it is to have people in our lives who love us enough to stop us when we are out of control. Kids, especially, need to know that someone will push back when they exceed the limit of acceptable behavior. Without the comfort of the rod and staff, we actually feel unloved. I am thankful for friends who confront me when they think I need correction. I don't always receive it well at the time, but I am learning to treasure God's discipline through trusted friends. I have not been a good disciplinarian of others so it helps me to recognize the value of discipline in my own life so I can become better about challenging people around me to grow, and to do it lovingly.