In the Dog House with God

This may sound odd to you, but when you think about it, it actually makes sense. Before I was saved, I would sin and most of the time I would get away with it. What I mean is that no actual consequences were felt from many of my sins. To put it plainly I would lie to get a better interest rate on a new home or car purchase, I would not claim cash income, I would get mad and drop a bunch of f-bombs, I would steel an extra movie once in the theater, I would lie to get late payments removed, I would break the law by speeding or illegally parking, and on and on. I was entitled because everyone else was. I was also not a child of God. What I mean is that I was not adopted yet. I was not part of his family. Other people’s parents do not discipline you. If you have kids, you do not discipline other people’s children and you certainly hope other parents do not discipline your kids. Discussing right and wrong is one thing, but going so far as to enforce and inflict discipline is something left up to one’s parents and usually one’s dad when it is really bad.

So, here I sit, now an actual child of God, adopted into his family after believing I was saved but truly was not. For those who have not read my testimony, please check it out HERE. I know I am a child of God because he has been disciplining me. Yes, I have been forgiven for my sins, but I only grow in Messiah and am further sanctified through him through testing, trials, and sometimes discipline. I get it now. When I discipline Jacob, my 5 year old son, I do it because I love him. Here is an example: He stuck out his tongue the other day at me and we sat down for about 30 minutes discussing the ramifications of why sticking your tongue out at your mom could lead to you becoming homeless. Yes, I know, my parenting style is a bit odd, but my 5 year old is crazy logical so I must play to his logical nature. Here is the sequence.

Stick your tongue out at your mom + no disciplinary action = Jacob with a lack of respect for authority =  grown up Jacob as a man at job + disrespecting his boss because he has a lack of respect for authority = loss of job = lack of income = a homeless Jacob. Seriously… he gets it.

This is what I call logical discipline. Sometimes we need a logical reality check from God, a wake up call so to speak, while other times we need a slap on the wrist. God knows how we learn and what works best for each one of us. Just know this, if you are going along in your life and hardly ever seem to feel like you are being disciplined for your actions by God, you may want to consider if you are in fact saved. Take a look at our Fruits Audit Section to the right to test yourself against what God has to say about what it means to be truly a child of His.

Do Not Grow Weary (Hebrews 12:3-11, ESV)

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 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. – Hebrews 12:3-11

Modern Parable ~ The Enlightened Teacher

The young first year High School teacher eagerly awaited her first “Back to School Night” where she would finally get to meet the parents of her very first students. She made sure her classroom was just right and her dress was perfect. She wanted to make a great first impression. One by one as the parents came into her classroom, one by one the pieces started to fall into place. Every question she had about each student in her class was answered after the brief encounters she had with their parents. Her students mirrored their parents. The apple truly did not fall far from the tree. Astonishing! How could that be? Sure enough as the year went on and more interactions were had, it showed her just how much influence a home, good or bad, can have on a child.

but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV

God calls us to be like Him. We are his children and He expects us to bring honor and not shame to His name. We are to act in a manner that mirrors and honors our Father in Heaven.

Today we hope to instill that kind of respect and honor in our children when it comes to our family name. I often tell Jacob “An O’Sullivan does things this way.” Or, “We O’Sullivans don’t do things like that.” In today’s world people are more concerned with raising children who win the most competitions and get the highest grades than they are with true family honor. However, in keeping with that idea, when a child makes great grades or wins a competition, who is the first to exclaim, “That’s my child!” We want our children to imitate us on the good stuff and look the other way on the bad stuff. Sadly, they tend to pick up our bad habits more than our good ones. “Do as I say, not as I do.” Parent teacher conference day is the most enlightening day for most teachers. If you are a teacher you know what I am thing about. About 90% of the time when a teacher meets the parents it explains pretty much all the good and the bad in respect to the in-class behavior of the student. I want to be known by the way I imitate my Dad. And guess what, he’s perfect. He says “Do what I say, and do what I do.” It’s that simple. There are no mixed signals. What an honor to be part of the family I am in. I want to make Him proud. I want him to say “That’s My child!”