Genesis 49:15 – When [Issachar] sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labour. (NIV)
I was quietly nursing my coffee in a local restaurant, but I couldn't help overhearing the conversation at the next table.
"I was forced to get married," said one fellow to his friend. "I got my girlfriend pregnant, and so in those days, you had to get married."
"Forced!" exclaimed his friend. "No! You weren't forced! You were self-forced! You forced yourself to get married because of your actions."
Whew! What a blow those words were to me. I am always complaining about my weight, but I had just finished eating a "self-forced" bagel with extra cream cheese.
Let's be honest with ourselves and admit that we have "self-forced" ourselves by our choices and actions into more than a few extra pounds. Speeding tickets? Quarrels? Destroyed relationships? Cluttered closets? Lonely lives? Need we say more?
Where are our actions leading us today? Personally? I am giving up on "self-force" and starting over again today. I'll start by making better choices and then taking responsibility for those choices.
Prayer: Lord, You have given us free will, but when we use it incorrectly, help us to be honest about the results and the consequences. Thanks, Lord. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.