Summary: God's ultimate plan for me is to develop my character and make me holy, not to make my life easy so I am always happy.
Let's review what we have already discovered...
A Myth – is a commonly held belief that is not true.
Jesus Himself had to debunk spiritual myths as he challenged commonly held beliefs. Look at his repetition in the Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said…but I tell you…”
Myth #1 It's all about me.
It's all about Jesus. (Galatians 2:20)
Myth #2 Jesus died on the cross for your sins
Jesus died on the cross for you (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
Today, we look at...
Myth #3 God's plan for me is to be happy.
TRUTH: God's plan is for me to be holy. (1 Peter 1:16)
Several years ago I was part of a great church in Omaha, Nebraska that ran a Christian school. When the parents of the students were surveyed and asked "What is your main role as a parent to your child?" the number one response was "to make my child happpy." The pastor shared one Sunday morning how disturbing that was. To be honest, at the time I didn't see why that was so alarming. Only after some thought did I realize that if those were the lenses those parents looked through, it would shape their decisions in raising their children and the results would likely be ego-centric kids who grow into "me first" adults.
"Give a pig and a boy everything they want and you will have a very good pig and a very bad boy."
16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
I want to share this quote with you. Please note that it is from a secular (NOT religious) source -
Minnesota Crime Commission…
"Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it: his bottle, his mother's attention, his playmate's toys, his uncle's watch, or whatever. Deny him these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He's dirty, he has no morals, no knowledge, no developed skills. This means that all children, not just certain children but all children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free reign to their impulsive actions to satisfy each want, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist."
Parents: There are times when you have to ask yourself – "Do I want my kids to like me now or 10 years from now?"
There is a wonderful book entitled "Boundaries" in which the authors differentiate two words - Hurt and Harm.
Think of these examples. If I were to eat an entire 2 pound bag of peanut M&M's (which I sadly am fully capable of doing!) would it hurt me? No, it would feel great! Would it harm me? Yes, it would harm my health, my teeth, etc.
How about visiting the dentist? Would it hurt? Yes. Would it harm? No, it will keep me from harm.
A good parent will allow his child to be hurt in order to keep him from harm. Would it be cruel of me to pull my daughter's hair to save her life as she was about to step into the path of a bus? It would hurt her, but save her from harm. A benevolent parent would NEVER harm his child! But to avoid harm, we must allow our children to experience some hurt.
Look at Paul's parental feelings with the Corinthian church and how he distinguishes between hurt and harm...
8Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
The perfect parent is God the Father. He has made it clear that He would NEVER harm us. Jeremiah 29:11 reads
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Yet, the Lord makes it clear that we will experience hurt (trial, temptation, persecution, ridicule, hatred, etc.).
One of the Lord's great qualities is His honesty with us as His children. While Satan hides the price tag of things, the Lord is always clear about the cost of following Him - even to the point of some weighing the cost and choosing not to follow.
He lets us know that we will experience hurt, but He will keep us from harm...