Reading The Riot Act

February 25, 2011
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Proverbs 3:11-12 – My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest his correction; for whom the Lord loves he corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights. (NKJV)

The Riot Act was passed in England in 1715, to be read to mobs to encourage them to disperse. Since then, the saying "reading the Riot Act" has come to mean "to command to stop doing something regarded as wrong under threat of punishment". Recently, out of the Lord's loving discipline, He has read the Riot Act to me.

Back in 2007, following my yearly physical and accompanying blood tests, I was called by the doctor's office to come in to discuss the results. Over the phone, I was told that a lady physician filling in for my regular doctor would see me. Here's what the visit sounded like:

"Come in, Mr. Smith, and have a seat. I've been going over your blood results, and it looks like you are a type 2 diabetic. Your fasting blood sugar is too high, and you have to get your cholesterol down. Stand up; I want to measure your girth. That's got to come off," she said, as she pointed to my stomach.

The Riot Act had been read to me for sure, but after visits to the diabetic clinic, the reduction of fat and sugar in my diet, reduced meal portions, and the help of my dedicated wife, I began to reap the benefits.

After three months of dieting and quick walks with my dog, I had lost thirty pounds and changed from size large to medium. Everyone said that I looked great, and my doctor informed me that not only were my blood results much better, but also no meds were required.

I thank God for the Riot Act He read to me, through that strict lady doctor.

There are times in our lives when we need to have the Riot Act read to us. We may need correction for an unhealthy lifestyle, a bad habit, an unchecked anger problem, or an arrogant attitude towards others. The Holy Spirit may use a fellow believer or some authority in the world to correct us. Our part is to listen and to take corrective action.

Prayer: Lord God, we realize that we need to have the Riot Act read to us at times. May we respond with gratitude, knowing that You, our loving heavenly Father, really care for our well-being. In Jesus' name. Amen!

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Allan Smith <>
Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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