‘Let us examine our ways and test them…’ Lamentations 3:40 NIV
One child complains about the other: ‘Mummy, he hit me!’ She’s convinced it’s her brother’s fault, that he ought to be punished, and that she should have Mum’s sympathy. But her brother is equally certain: ‘She started it. She took my toy.’ We grow older, but not always wiser! It ‘just happened’, we say, then proceed to blame people and circumstances. We don’t want to pay the price for our decisions, so we complain about our consequences, saying it wasn’t our fault. This is not the way God does business, and it doesn’t work. ‘Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins?’ (Lamentations 3:39 NIV) What works with God is this: First, acknowledge your wrong behaviour. Someone else may have started it, but your part in it is your responsibility. Plus, complaining offends God. ‘…The people complained…in the hearing of the Lord, and…His anger was aroused.’ (Numbers 11:1 NIV) Leave other people’s sin to God and deal with your own. Second, look at your behaviours: ‘Let us examine our ways…’ Look beyond this specific event to how you usually act in similar situations. Learn from it, so you can change! Third, determine whether your ways really work: ‘Let us…test them…’ Analyse, observe and judge how well your ‘ways’ have actually worked—or not! Finally, if they don’t work, change them; ‘…Let us return to the Lord.’ (Lamentations 3:40 NIV) Repeating wrong behaviour guarantees continued failure. Returning to doing things God’s way, brings the end of frustration and the beginning of joy and fulfilment!
SoulFood: Rom 1:1–3:20, Matt 13:47–58, Ps 141, Pro 4:18–19
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©