Grow 3. Pruning

I was raised by the eyebrows of my father.

Stage 1. Eyebrows
From across the room my dad’s eyebrows would slowly ascend as my behaviour descended. I could escape this stage relatively unscathed. Meaning… the eyebrows were a warning that I would do well to heed. But normally I just continued to:
Stage 2. Verbal
Not as subtle as eyebrows but harder to ignore. It normally sounded like “Corey…” where the word trailed upward and was left with overtones of suspense and consequence. Sometimes effective in curbing my actions, and yet more often the trail led to:
Stage 3. “Come here”
Hard to ignore when dad called me across the room to have a “chat”. Dad’s chats were closer to monologues where the cause and effect principle was carefully and clearly laid out to me. This was a slightly embarrassing stage but still a warning to me. I could escape, but if the spiral continued downward:
Stage 4. Major Discomfort
I’ll leave the specifics to your fruitful imagination. I really had no complaints here as I had obviously crossed the line and dad calmly and lovingly restored order to my life. I’m forever grateful that he had the courage to stand up to a strong willed child and know for certain that my potential as a person depended upon this.
These are stages of Discipline. Pruning is different. In discipline, you pay for your own mistakes. There’s no great glory in that, but it is a necessity. It is annoying to all of us when adults are disciplined by principles and complain about it. Wait… unless it’s us, then it’s ok.
Try reading through the 4 stages again if you’re having trouble in your finances, or your marriage, or your relationships, or at work. Look closely and you might see a correlation in the responses of the people involved (use your imagination just a little). Allowing a principle to discipline you is smart. As soon as you alter your behaviour the pain stops. 
Pruning is a whole other ballgame. Discipline is about you. Pruning is about others. Discipline is you paying for your own mistakes or lack of understanding. Pruning is paying for others. There’s good news… if you still think your life is all about you, you won’t have to worry about pruning. If you’re smart and realized I just tricked you into caring about pruning you might be alright.
In North America receiving correction is optional. That’s a problem. A Massive problem. Our society will never reach potential until we wake up one morning and realize it is NOT all about us. Our comfort. Our way of life. 
You were meant to shelter others. The strong protect the weak. A society where no one is left behind.
I am convinced this millennial generation could actually do it. 
Corey Kope

Pastor. Father of 4 beauties. Devoted husband, Liverpool fan, and Jesus follower.

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