Tag Archives: behavior

Held in trust

Ps. 11:3:  “What can an honest person do when everything crumbles?”

We were definitely overcharged, but the lady at the front desk insisted that we weren’t.  We’d calmly and kindly conceded, paying the full amount she’d requested, but we drove away with the feeling that we’d just been robbed.

For 2 months in a row, we couldn’t get the office to change the amount due, even though our circumstances had changed.  Emails were sent back and forth, phone calls were made, and we finally made an in-person visit.  They were all very kind and helpful, but the amount never made its way back to our checking account.

And then, my husband needed surgery.  We are a 1-income family.  Medical tests were being done and the bills were already coming in.  We planned as far in advance for living on short-term disability pay as we could, and all we could do was trust God with the rest.  His Word has promised that He will supply all of our needs.  His Word also gives a promise when it comes to tithing.  And so we hunkered down, in faith, and decided not to worry about the math, but to continue to put our faith in Him.

Here is where God showed out!  Right when we needed the money the most, we got the refund from months before from when we knew we’d been overcharged.  Suddenly, the other money made its way into our bank account.  And out of the blue, a couple of other refunds that we weren’t even aware of or anticipating found their way into our bank account, as well.

God knew when we would need that money the most, and He had been holding that money in trust for us that whole time!  Its just beautiful and amazing to me how He works!

I am so grateful that we did not “show out” or act rude and ugly to the other people involved when we knew we’d been overcharged those 2 times.  It was God working in both of those situations, making plans for our future.

Here are a couple of takeaways:

  1. God is faithful to His Word:  He still supplies the needs of His people.
  2. Behaving well, even when things seem unfair or uncertain, is never the wrong thing to do.

Cared for,

jamie

Honoring the one who regarded rebuke

Pr. 19:18:  “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.”

Last I left you, with regard to my son, he was stripped of all toys and most privileges due to being stuck in a pattern of disrespect.  I am happy to report that things are looking up.  He had the choice of disregarding our correction or regarding our rebuke and receiving honor.  I would like to give honor to him now:

2 nights ago he had a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Their house is so much fun!  They have Bible story time, game time, arts and craft time, story time, and…they not only have virtually unlimited channels on their tv, plus lots extra movies and shows.  Honestly, I forgot all about reminding him or them that he was not allowed to watch any television or movies.

The next morning my mom called to give me this report:  “I told him he could go watch a show while I got ready for the day.  He started walking towards the living room, but stopped and said, “Oh, Grandma, I forgot.  I’m not allowed to watch any shows.  I got in trouble.”

Now, my parents didn’t know he couldn’t watch shows, and neither his father, sister, nor I were there to monitor his choices.  Character is shown in what you do when no one is looking.  By not watching shows, even when he had Grandma’s permission, my son certainly proved that his character is being set in the right direction.

Today’s verse reminds me that in my last blog about him I said that we want to correct his behavior while he is still young.  Today’s verse says, “while there is still hope.”  We are not willing to resign ourselves to the fact that he will just be a disrespectful man.  We have hope that the Lord will continue to build his character throughout his life.  We do not think that since sinful actions are being demonstrated in his life that he is doomed for destruction.

We know that eternal life awaits our son.  We understand that Jesus came to save and redeem the world…including Levi.  We know that the Lord is not willing that any should perish, and therefore His Holy Spirit works in the hearts of men, reminding them of God.  Levi heeded the reminder of the Holy Spirit when he chose not to watch tv.

No amount of outward behavior means more to me than the act of integrity and obedience to the Holy Spirit that my son demonstrated at Grandma’s house.  His heart is pointed in the right direction and that is what truly matters.

Ro. 5:5:  “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  Praise God!

The same holds true for you and yours.  With God, there is always hope!  There is no age limit to salvation, redemption, or a move of the Holy Spirit.

Honoring Levi,

jamie

Oh, the love in correction

Pr. 13:18:  “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.”

I’m sure it’s just the unconscious “I’m 5 now and it’s time to push all the boundaries” type of situation, but we have noticed a pattern of behavior in our little Levi lately.

It may seem unfair or shocking to you, but yesterday we felt it was necessary to have him pack away his toys and put them away until he can correct this issue within himself.  Because of our great love for Levi, we feel it’s very important to correct his disrespectful behavior while he is still young.  We understand, even if he doesn’t, that hitting, lying, and purposefully disobeying will not bring good to him throughout his life.

Truly poverty has come upon this little guy as his room is void of any toys and actually has an echo to it when you walk in.  He has been shamed in front of his sister who is making wiser choices and has a room full of toys.  He has the choice now to either disregard our newest correction, or to regard this rebuke and receive honor.

If he doesn’t receive our correction, things could stay that way for a while.  Certainly, however, as we see that his heart is receiving the message, he will begin to receive his toys back.

He is a little young for the in-depth conversations of cause and effect, consequences, and the laws of reaping what you sow, although I do counsel them both on these truths in ways they can understand.  He can, however, see the truth of cause and effect before his eyes when his intentional behavior causes him to lose privilege after privilege.

Poor guy.  I don’t like it, but we are told in the word that we must correct him now to save his soul, and that if he will honor his parents his life will go well.  There is more at stake than just behavior and compliance.

Naturally we want to train him in a way to prevent him from going to prison or being fired from a job in his later years. More importantly, though, is that in order to receive eternal life, he must humble himself before the Lord.  If he is to humble himself before a God he cannot see, he must be able to be humble.  Disrespect, selfishness, and lying are not attributes of a humble heart.  He must be taught and trained, and we love him too much not to try.

Just like him, sometimes we need correction to reveal to us that our heart is becoming hardened in sin or we are slipping into patterns of behavior that will drive us away from the Lord.  When correction comes our way, we can be thankful that God loves us enough to take the time to correct us.  He is slow to anger and rich in love.  Correction is not meant to be tyranny or manipulation, but point us back toward His loving arms.

Reminded,

jamie

Hear Him now

Pr. 5:7:  “Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.”

Yesterday I wrote about allowing God, the light of the world, to show us the stumbling blocks and obstacles in our paths.  Today, I will point out that sometimes, even though our obstacles and stumbling blocks are revealed to us by the Lord, we continue to walk straight into them.  Anyone else experience this besides me?

This is where the importance of becoming a doer of the word comes into play.  We cannot just continue to be hearers of the word, and do nothing about it what we’ve heard or read.  We are urged not to depart from the words of our Father.  God will reveal to us the things, places, or people who cause us to stumble.  Our job after that is to avoid those things.  We were never asked to do it alone, however.  Jesus suffered, being tempted, and is able to aid those who are tempted.

There are lots of tips for us in the word.  The Lord says to flee youthful lusts.  He says to resist the devil.  He gives permission for us to come boldly to the throne of grace in time of need.  He encourages us in the fact that He always gives us another way out of our temptations, so we should diligently seek Him and the way out.  We are told to remove ourselves from sinful situations.  Rejoicing in what we currently have is also recommended.  Paul also wrote that we should meditate on things that are praiseworthy and virtuous; also things that are pure, noble, just, lovely, true, and of good report.  David strengthened himself according to the word and hid it in his heart.  He stood in awe of and rejoiced in the word.

Do not depart from the word.  Hear the Lord now, while your heart is open to His leading.  Hide His word in your heart and allow Him to lead you away from those stumbling blocks for good.  Sometimes our obstacles have become habits that we’ve allowed to keep a hold on us.  God can and will bring our obstacles to our attention, and if we continue to listen and avoid them time after time, eventually we will forget about them and find ourselves habitually going on the path with God.

Flee as if your life depends on it!

jamie

Imitate me

Pr. 23:26:  “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”

Solomon bids his son to listen to his wisdom, watch how he was living, and follow suit.  Wow.  He must have been pretty confident in his behavior.  In 1 Cor. 4:16 Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.”  He urged them.  Are you able to urge your children to do the same?  Would you be able to urge anyone to do so?

At the end of the day do you feel confident enough in your values and behavior to urge someone to watch and imitate your life?  I can honestly say that anyone watching me a lot of my life would have been led quickly astray.  In fact, I know for a fact that there are many that probably were led astray by my example.  What a sad reality to face, but it is true.  I see many of their faces as I type.

So, what now?  I cannot change my past behavior.  I cannot dig up the seeds that were already planted.  Now is the time to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness through His blood.  Now is the time to run boldly to the throne of grace to obtain the mercy and grace I need.  Now is the time to allow the Lord to be Lord of every area in my life, so that others may see Him in me.

Maybe you need to do this, as well.  You are not alone.  My friend Sonja sent me an email just this week that said, “you cannot move forward in your relationship with Christ looking backwards!”  Let’s take her advice, accept the forgiveness, grace, and renewing of Jesus Christ, and let’s move forward.  Together we can change our futures and the futures of those around us.

God, we ask that today you forgive and renew us once more and fill us with your Holy Spirit.  Guide us as we walk in the Spirit and give us wisdom for this day.  Through Your strength, help us to live a life worth imitating.  In You our futures are always bright!

Imitating my Father,

jamie