Archives For discipline

Hopeless Hope

September 7, 2016

Christians and ministries often have a hard time losing hope. Hope filled Christianity is a wonderful thing, but it is more and more normal for people to hold out hope without any evidence to support it.

There are times when we must actually lose hope and it may be in the best interest of the person or the project.

Henry Cloud in his fantastic book,Necessary Endings,  deals with this at length. Take a look at some of these thoughts.

“Hope is based not only on desire, but also on real, objective reasons to believe that more time will help. That is way different from mere desire. Here is the principle: In the absence of real, objective reasons to think that more time is going to help, it is probably time for some type of necessary ending.”

I’ve had a lot of history with reading the Bible. I teach it, I study it, and I do desire others to love it more. In my years I’ve tried many a Bible reading plan.

You know, the ones with the beautiful little boxes you can check off after reading! Those boxes that make you feel like you have done your duty to God and country, yet don’t help you remember what you read 10 minutes after closing your beautiful, leather-bound study Bible!

I used to read the passages in the reading plan and check them off. Somehow, checking them off made me feel good. But, if I missed a day, I felt horrible.

It was almost as if I was trying to manipulate God, paying my dues so He would bless me.

I had to stop doing these plans years ago due to my battle with legalism and performance.

Fresh Air by Chris Hodges

December 6, 2012

I first heard of Chris Hodges from an article he wrote for Relevant Magazine. He had me at the title with, “Are You Loving God out of Obligation.

Take a look at an excerpt from this article:

“Some people are trying to be good people by doing godly things—reading their Bible, praying and serving those in need. But they’re doing it out of a sense of religious duty and obligation, not because they’re in love with God and want to know Him and offer up their lives to Him. Then they wonder why their spiritual lives are so dry. Aren’t they doing everything a good Christian should do? Well, then, why isn’t God coming through with His end of the deal—answering their prayers and giving them the abundant life of peace and joy that Jesus said He brought to us? “

A few months ago, I wrote a post on Christian SuperMom called Reflecting a Gracious God to our Children. In it, I wondered what tools we as parents could use to model the grace of God to our kids.

I would like to follow this post up with a report and some new thoughts.

I modeled the technique mentioned in the initial post to my oldest son, Garett,  offering to take his punishment for him. He had lost the use of an Ipod Touch for video games. I explained what I was doing and how it was similar to Jesus taking our place.

He nodded and ran off to play his games. I wondered if the lesson took root.

Several months later I found myself giving my youngest son, Thabo, consequences for a choice he made. Garett, pipes up,  offering to take the punishment for his brother.
He said it makes him sad for his brother to miss out and he wants to take his place. He tells me this is what  Jesus did for him.