Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (KJV)
My mother expected her children to stay clean at all times because conditions in a dusty and dirty lumber mill camp environment tried both her patience and her effort. She spent two days washing the week's laundry by hand and hanging it on the clothesline to dry. After that, she ironed everything to get the wrinkles out. Her hands were reddened from all the work, so she taught us that if we stayed clean during play, her job would be easier.
One day, at age 8, a bright idea perched on my shoulder and chirped invitingly in my ear until I responded. Soon, we children were laughing as we carried containers of water toward a deep, dirt-filled rut in a logging road near our home. We stepped into the mixture and danced with glee. Shortly, we were up to our necks and covered with mud batter. As the sunshine beat down on us, caking and drying the mud, we started to itch. We started to scratch. Then, I saw her coming! We froze. Laughter stopped. Mud dripped. I was in big trouble. I was sorry, and I learned a big lesson.
What had been a fun game turned out to be a costly act of my willfulness. Water was wasted, and clothing was stained or ruined. Kids needed extra baths and shampoos. Deep down, I knew that what we were doing would upset my mother, but I had disobeyed her anyway. Acting on a bad chirp of an idea for a few moments of fun broke my mother's trust in me. She felt disappointed and angry. I felt miserable.
Think about the ways that being obedient to our parents, rules of employment, and societal rules help us to be obedient to God. If we learn to be strong in one area of obedience, that strength will help us to get through the next. When we are obedient, we do not have to suffer guilt, anxiety, and lack of self-respect before God. When we obey, we please God.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for teaching us that the fun of action done in disobedience is not worth the consequences in the context of our relationship with You. Help us to think before we act. Amen.
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