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Monday, July 19, 2010

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Micah 6:1-4, 6-8
Psalm 50:5-6, 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Matthew 12:38-42

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"you hate discipline" (part 4)

"You hate discipline." —Psalm 50:17

This is the fourth time in the last three weeks the Church has read to us the words: "You hate discipline" (Ps 50:17). We live in a pleasure-seeking, play today, pay tomorrow society. So many in our society are unable to exercise discipline in the areas of sexual self-control, financial restraint, and diet. We are unable to be disciplined in taking custody of our eyes (Jb 31:1), our thoughts and fantasies (2 Cor 10:5), what our mouths say (Jas 3:5ff), and what we eat (Phil 3:19). Yet these are only symptoms of a greater hate of discipline and lack of discipline. The psalmist specifically associates the hating of discipline with casting God's words behind us (Ps 50:17).

If you can't control your appetite, examine how much time you read the Bible. If you are chained to sexual sin, check how much time you spend reading the Bible. Is your budget out of control? How much time do you spend reading the Bible? Discipline begins with humbling yourself to tremble before the Word of God (Is 66:2).

Soldiers and athletes accept discipline. A soldier wants to please his or her commander and so avoids getting entangled in the things of the world (2 Tm 2:4). Athletes show discipline by denying themselves many things (1 Cor 9:25). Let us likewise discipline our bodies and souls and master them, for fear that we may ourselves otherwise be rejected (1 Cor 9:27).

"Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord" (Heb 12:5). In love, discipline yourself to read God's Word daily.

Prayer:  Jesus, may my discipline be transformed into love as I choose the better portion of sitting at Your feet daily listening to Your words (Lk 10:39, 42).

Promise:  "You have a greater than Solomon here." —Mt 12:42

Praise:  Daniel didn't like reading Scripture every day at first but now looks forward to what God will say.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009

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