A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Proverbs 25:28 ESV) When I was growing up, my mother told me if I turned around in church I would turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife. When I came home from church on Sunday, and I wanted to go outside and play with friends, she told me on the seventh day Jesus rest go and get a book. One of my friends, who is now a Pediatrician said to this day her friends still laugh at her because her mother played Christian music at her birthday parties and she does not know how to play card games because of her religious household. I have friends and associates who can share with you this type of over the top, strict religious homes they came from. One of my classmates in seminary father would not allow them to watch television and would know if the tv was on by touching it when he came home from work because the tv would be warm and they would get beat. Some of us made it out ok, just a little PTSD, some went deep on the other side, the city broken into and left without walls, drug addiction, prostitution, alcoholism, a few landed up in prison. Quite possibly maybe they said to themselves I would rather go to hell and wear “timbs” and hoodies then go to heaven with the goodie goodies, the prophet Biggie Smalls wrote those lyrics. I have been able to talk to a few and let my friends and associates know “yes, it was over the top, but our parents loved us so much and they only wanted the best for us and that’s what they knew. We can do better but let us not turn completely from what helped us become self-sufficient people with morals, values and ethics.
The Bible tells us in Hebrew for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. I am so glad that even though I grew up with discipline that seemed painful, rather than pleasant it has blessed my life. I am not bragging but making the point, I am independent and a productive member of society. I am the lender not the borrower I am the head and not the tail and I have divine favor over and around my life. My faith in God is extremely important to my moral compass. I do not want to be the one without some level of self-control. Do I always get it right? As I often write, NO!!!! I am human, I am a sinner saved by grace and always asking for mercy, but I am apart of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven and Jesus is my king and I pursue righteousness daily, because it is real, the truth and it is worth it. I am on this journey with you trying to figure out how not to fight a new war with old battle plans. Many young people are talking about being spiritual and not attaching themselves to a faith or it is not necessary to fellowship and be a member of a church. what does that mean? And where is it getting you? And how is it helping and blessing your life? I hope that as you navigate your spirituality it includes Christ. I do believe that the church needs to evolve, we the people need to evolve because we are the church. I am willing to evolve, I am willing to learn, I cannot change my denominations protocol, and some of those ways of “being” had its place and it was an excellent foundation that helped shape many of us into who we are today. We cannot throw the baby out with the bath water. They will have to get there or risk becoming irrelevant. My generation dropped the ball, I am a generation Xer. It is never too late to rebuild the walls for our families and communities, it might look different then when we were brought up, but it will include the good news of the gospel, the armor of God. Holiness is still right, but there is grace in the process. Proverbs reminds us whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. I can only do what I know, but I promise I will not get stuck in yesterday, be unwilling to evolve and listen, as long as Christ is not left out of the transition. Jesus is the core of the gospel and the message is love. Remain encourage, God Bless.