Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Pass Me Not O Gentle Saviour"1 (Lyrics)
1 Timothy 4:7b-8 – Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (NIV)
Listening to recent discussions about an acceptable minimum wage, I remembered how fortunate that I was to have received good training from godly parents using principles based on the Bible.
I was born during the Great Depression before the Second World War, and now I am living in the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Good training is as important now as ever.
My first part-time job was taking in the empty garbage bins for a neighbour. When the assignment was completed, I was rewarded with a payment of fifty cents.
Excitedly, I rushed home to show my parents. The first thing that I was expected to do was to put five cents into the tithe purse. I was then allowed to take the remaining forty-five cents and spend it as I wished.
My first full-time job was pulling weeds from Monday to Saturday (sometimes on hot days) in a large commercial garden. My compensation for each week's work was $15!
This caused a problem for my parents. My older siblings were required to pay weekly room and board based on their rate of pay, but always at least $15! My father was an executive with the largest employer in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, so my mother didn't need money from their children, but it was part of their disciplined training.
In my case, I first had to put $1.50 into the tithe purse, but that left only $13.50.
They decided on an exception, allowing my room and board to be reduced to $8.50 per week, leaving me with a balance of $5.00 for six days of hard work.
That seemed very fair to me. My parents worked hard providing for all our needs, and they successfully trained us to follow in their example.
As life developed, I realized that successful organizations placed high value on training. Even later in life, I am fortunate to live in a facility with outstanding staff. Recently, I have noticed occasions when a staff member is doing a different task. Inevitably, there is someone with that person doing training.
Finally, another aspect of training is the discipline that is required. The trainee has to accept what is being taught. In this time of students learning from home, we hear of examples of parents and students maintaining schedules to enable successful learning. Here again, the Bible has much to say. Here are two references that I have found helpful:
Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. (NLT)
Hebrews 12:11 – For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (ESV)
Prayer: Father, help us to be willing to learn and be trained in following Your way. As we grow, may we share Your love with others. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.