Monday, July 11, 2011
Today’s Topic: Consider the Consequences
Today’s Text: Isaiah 47:7b …But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.
My wife and I just concluded eight days of testing. Our patience was tested. Our ability to function on less sleep was tested. Our creativity was tested. Our wisdom was tested. I am proud to announce that we not only survived the test but we thoroughly enjoyed it and passed with flying colors. Of course the flying colors part is just my opinion.
What a joy it was to be surrounded by children for those days. We had five of them for the first three days and then just two of the older ones for the remaining five days. I must admit though that it felt good to return home after dropping them off yesterday afternoon and be alone. But God taught me something while they were all here. I thought at first I was just teaching this to the kids, but it was me who really needed to learn. That’s God’s plan – to give us the children and grandchildren He knows we need to make us more like Jesus.
When trouble would brew between the kids, or when one would make a decision that turned out poorly, I took the time to try to teach them a lesson in maturity. Imagine that, me teaching maturity. I know you are chuckling. Your chuckles will turned to guffaws when you hear what I tried to teach them. Not only because they are young and you will think I was trying to teach a principle beyond their years, but because I don’t really model the principle very well myself. That’s what God wanted me to realize.
Every time one of the kids made a bad decision, I would pull them aside and talk to them about what it means to think about the consequences of our choices. Rather than acting impulsively, I would try to lay the foundation for them to consider what might happen if they do it. I knew that they would probably not understand the concept, and that kids that age don’t think that way, but I wanted to start teaching them so that by repetition over the years they will get it and become mature decision-makers. Now, because I have started this, every time I see them, and am responsible for them, I can supplement their parent’s teaching by emphasizing good decision-making skills.
This morning as I was studying Isaiah 47, God highlighted verse 7 for me. The Babylonians had been making decisions based solely on their need for immediate gratification. Now God was going to intervene and make some corrections. He starts by telling them that they had been poor decision-makers. I saw myself clearly as I read. When I got to verse seven I stopped and knew it was for me. The Lord said directly to me that I needed to consider all the consequences of every choice and reflect on what might happen.
So, for the rest of today, and on into the foreseeable future, I will be carrying this verse with me, condensing it into three words that will be etched into my mind – consider the consequences. Maybe now, at age 58, I can conquer impulsiveness and begin to mature.