"It's for your own good."

From yesterday's Life Journal...
And now Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? —Deuteronomy 10:12-13 ESV
I don't think I ever realized how these verses are so close to one of my long-time favorites,
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. —Micah 6:8 ESV
But there is a difference in Moses' words than Micah's. The addition of the words, "for your good".

I remember as a child—at times a head-strong one—hearing some variation of these words come out of my parents' mouths, while trying to get my brothers and I to do something that in all reality, we really didn't want to do.

Go to bed.
Drink your milk.
Eat your vegetables.
Take your medicine.
Don't run with scissors.

And many, if not all, of these things were followed with that classic line, "It's for your own good." Somehow, I don't think any of us ever fully believed them.

I have even seen it recently. Watching the parents of a four-year old little piece of my heart try to convince their little boy that letting doctors poke him, constantly bug him as he tries to play Xbox, and make him do things he wants no part of, is actually to make him better. I saw the skepticism in his espresso-colored eyes.

But the reality is that whether or not any of us feel like these things are in our own best interest, or for our own good, they actually are.

The reality is that the life that I desire to love and serve my God is only truly brought about by discipline and disciplines that curb my own natural tendencies—to live my way, to protect, to merely survive—and bring me to a place where i can better hear and obey God.

As I wrote yesterday, as this season of Lent begins, I don't want to emerge after Easter as the same person I am on this side. My prayer is that God would use the disciplines of both omitting things from and adding new disciplines to my life to transform me into someone who better understands and lives His grace and love.


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