Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Listening & Doing

"As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." --Proverbs 26:11
Thinking about a dog going back to its vomit is rather disgusting.  I've never actually seen this occur.  However, I have seen a gorilla at our zoo who does this.  It is about as nauseating  as you can imagine...and just plain bizarre. 
Who or what would want to return to and, as implied, eat their own vomit?
Our son Cole is affectionate, silly, and so creative.  Yet he can also be rather rebellious, as many three year olds are.  He can be particularly disobedient in how he interacts with his sister.  I could not tell you how many times a day I have to say phrases like:
"Cole, please get off of her."
"Cole, give her space."
"Cole, don't hit her face."
"Cole, don't squeeze her neck."
"Cole, be kind to Allie."
"Cole, don't jump on her."
"Cole, be careful.  You could hurt her."
This photo paints a perfect picture of Allie's fear and Cole's rebellion:

There are times when he heeds my warning.  However, there are still many other times when he does not and Allie ends up crying and hurt.  Then comes discipline and a little chat about being kind and careful with "our sister."  He will listen and say, "Okay.  Sawry mommy."  BUT so often it isn't even ten minutes later and we are having the same conversation again.
I grow weary of watching him repeat his folly.  He listens to my correction but does not DO what I say.
Here's the sad part...he is not alone.  I return to my folly more than I would like to admit.

James 1:22-25 says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does."
This photo is the goal.  A kind, tender-hearted brother doing what is loving and right with his sister.  See the difference in her face?  Now, that is the blessing God is talking about!

My prayer today:

Jesus, give my children the strength to heed instruction and warning and to not return to their nauseating folly again and again.  Grant them the wisdom to LISTEN to Your Word and then the perseverance to continue TO DO what it says, thus inviting your blessing over all that they do. 

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