June 30, 2019
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1 NIV
“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1 NIV
I am not particularly well disciplined. I jump from interest to interest on a whim and find myself disappointed with my lack of results. I desire routine and yet am incapable of maintaining more than a few good habits for any substantial period of time. Fortunately for me, God has blessed me with the ability to learn quickly and the dual loves of teaching and service. These gifts serve me well as I work with students and other leaders in our youth ministry. Because these gifts are well suited for youth ministry, and involve being good at some of the more visible tasks therein, arrogance has crept its way into my attitude more than once. It is so easy to feel that I am God’s gift to youth ministry, and that my methods are the best available. A favorite tool of Satan is twisting our attitudes of gratitude into pride and indignation; taking something beautiful and making it something putrid. Thanks be to God that I usually recognize my changing attitudes before they grow too far out of proportion.
As a teacher, I must be willing to learn. Learning comes from being challenged in my ways and tested against difficult situations. When a lesson is not being taught the way I prefer, but is done with sound doctrine and style, I must be willing to approach it honestly and learn. If a sermon does not directly apply to my current situation, I must be willing to take from it all that I can. It is so easy to say “that’s not the way I would teach this lesson” or “this sermon is not for me” and use those phrases as an excuse to not engage with what is being taught. When things are not the way I want them to be, God is disciplining me to learn to accept that I am not the center of the universe and that there is always something to be learned from every situation in life. I am a gift of God but I am not the gift of God, and as one gift living amongst others I must be reminded of my responsibilities as well as my rights. I write this testimony to humble myself, to make permanent my self-reprimand such that the growth God seems to be intending for me may not be forgotten in the deluge of work.