I believe God is always teaching us in the busyness of “everyday life.” He is teaching us during all the schedules and running and relationships we encounter.
The question is, will we listen?
I love when we read how Jesus taught the people through parables of things of which they were familiar….reaping and sowing to farmers, catching people to fisherman and child-like faith to mothers. Jesus would teach principles in ways people could understand, relating to their everyday lives.
He does this today as well!
The Holy Spirit is always teaching, leading and guiding us if we will be still before Him and listen.
My son recently learned a hard lesson in obedience.
Even though he was told he was not allowed to text on his cell phone, (yes, we have an archaic plan WITHOUT free texting) he went ahead and did anyway- to the tune of $5oo!
Our son hadn’t believed us when we told him he couldn’t text. We told him text messaging was too expensive. He didn’t really think texting was that expensive. He saw his friends doing it and figured that mom and dad didn’t really know what they were talking about.
The same is true for me! Often, I choose to obey/disobey God based on my belief. Do I really trust Him in this area….on this issue….or do I think that I know better than Him? Of course, I would never SAY that out loud, but my actions may prove that I really don’t believe God knows best for me in a situation.
Our son fell into temptation and peer pressure. “All” of his friends text and many of them sent him text messages. He said the first few times he ignored the messages. But, then, he thought he would answer “just this one” and soon, before he knew it, he was full-fledged texting.
Temptation works exactly that way. How many times have I said, “just this once” and before I knew it I had entered into full-fledged bondage? How many times do I think, “All of my friends are doing this….how ‘bad’ could it really be?”
And, it also shows me that teenage “peer pressure” doesn’t have to be just the “big” sins of drugs and alcohol, but peer pressure can more easily tempt kids into “smaller” sins, sins that they don’t think are really that “bad.”
The same is true for me. I may not be tempted into a “big” sin like pornography, but peer pressure may lure me into sin that may be perceived as “not that bad.” Things like complaining or gossiping or “little white lies” or watching programs on TV that I know are offensive to God.
But SIN is SIN….”big” or “small” and what it comes down to is this: God is God and I trust Him, and because I believe Him, I will obey Him.
What we don’t always think about though, is that ALL sin, “big” or “small” has consequences!
And, boy, were there consequences for a $500 phone bill!!!!!!!
Our forgiveness of our son’s behavior was immediate and unconditional. He did not have to DO anything to be forgiven. He did not have to earn it. Grace is unconditional- unmerited favor. What he did does not change my love for him in the least bit! I love him and forgive him. But, in the consequences of what he did, he has had to DO some things!
The same is true for us and God. When we sin, we don’t EARN forgiveness- God gives it freely and unconditionally. His love for us is unchanging. But, there are always consequences for our sin. Even though we forgave our son, he has lost his phone and is doing MANUAL LABOR earning back the $500. The same is true for us, even though God forgives us, there are always consequences for our sin.
I am thankful that our son has learned this valuable life lesson! As parents, we pray that he will always be “caught” when he sins so that we can teach him through it. I pray the same for ME! I don’t want to walk down a wrong path. I want God to show me when I am being disobedient!
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24