Sunday, January 29, 2012

52 Blessings – Discipline

I remember one time my younger sister Janet came into the bathroom while Mom was combing my hair into ponytails. Janet said something like “I have candy” as she walked in front of me. I looked at her and said, “So.” Quick as not, Mom slapped my face and said, “We don’t say ‘so.’”

If there is one thing I am certain of, it is that Janet was being difficult. But if there is something else of which I’m more certain, it is that there is no room for contempt in a family – even when someone is being difficult. Seldom when we are disciplined are we all right or all wrong. Discipline is to train and make one better, not vilify or excuse. Children of all ages and sizes require and desire discipline. We never outgrow the need.

The other day I mentioned in my prayers a situation where I’d been wronged and wondered what to do about it. The discipline – the training – came today in a quote by President Thomas S. Monson:

“. . . charity – or ‘the pure love of Christ’ – (is) the opposite of criticism and judging.

“. . . charity manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient.

“. . . charity impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.

“. . . charity gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.

“. . . charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.

“. . . Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.” (“Charity Never Faileth,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 124–25)

Oh. I get it. We still don’t say “so.” Same message. Same discipline. Just a different parent teaching it to me this time.


Anonymous said...

Love the post, Jane! As always. Thanks for the reminder on Charity. Those are some great and powerful words to live by for sure!

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

It is hard to disciIplibe sometimes because the world is teaching that it is unimportant. Love this post and I definitely needed the charity reminder.

michelle said...

Oh, I remember how much I loved this talk! But of course, I had pretty much forgotten all about it. Rats. So thanks for the reminder!

I particularly liked the parts about charity being the opposite of criticism and judging, accepting weaknesses and shortcomings, resisting the impulse to categorize. Those things can be so difficult to do, but of course they are the things the Savior would do, and so if we are to have his pure love, we have to do the same things. It's really something to strive for.

Lucy said...

There is a person I have been very critical of late. Not someone I’m particularly close to, just aware of some choices they’ve made that I, from afar, don’t approve of. This post was a great reminder for me to be charitable and off of my high horse. I have no idea the circumstances that let up to this person’s choice. You are a great example to me.

Becky said...

I needed this reminder for so many reasons. Thank you, Jane!

P.S. The other night my daughter Brisa was reading my blog and comments with Jeff. She asked him, "Who is Neighbor Jane?" Without missing a beat Jeff said, "She is one of Mommy's best friends that she has never met."

Just thought you should know. :)

Mitchell Mark said...

Sweet teaching point! I sometime have a hard time discipling my awesomeness because it can easily get out of hand.

Discipling wasn't a word until now.