Scripture: Ezekiel 20:7
Observation: We are like children disobeying the directions of our Father and choosing to do and serving ourselves and our peers instead.
Application: I teach Grade 1. It is September. September is a time of getting to know my students, establishing routines, and setting rules and boundaries. However, despite much training and repetition, there are multiple times each day when I catch a student in an activity or a behaviour that I know has been taught and reviewed in great detail. Not that I am comparing my job as a teacher as the same as God but stay with me...Just as God commands us as followers of Him to "cast away the detestable things" I remind my grade 1 students to "make good choices", "keep your hands (and other body parts including tongues--don't ask!) to yourself", "be kind", and "stay on the job". Yet....my students are 6 and they just can't (or sometimes won't) follow through on the instructions that I have set for them. We too, can often be like six year olds. We know better, we know the rules and expectations, and yet we choose not to listen. We reject what we know is good for us and we make bad choices.
Many of these poor choices of my Grade 1 friends are blamed on their friends: "He told me to" or "She was doing it too". The influence of peers weighs heavily on the behaviour of my students. They are more concerned about the acceptance or encouragement of their friends then they are about what me as their teacher has told them to do. How often do we too blame our circumstances on "well...it's not that bad because that guy did the same thing as I did" or "I just didn't want to offend them so I joined in" or "I just want them to like me and not be mad at me". We are just as guilty as 6 year olds in blaming our behaviour on others. We seek the glory that comes from man more than seeking the glory that comes from God.
Not only do we seek the glory from others over God but more often we seek our own glory over the glory of God. We adopt the cultural standard of "me first" without often even realizing that we are doing it. Our selfishness over our money, time, and resources can be a hinderance to seeking out what God would have us do with what He has given us. Grade 1 students are at an age where they think the world revolves around them. I would argue that often we are not too far removed from this mindset.
Prayer: Lord, you are the ultimate teacher with wisdom to share with us beyond our wildest imaginations. A teacher can teach but it is up to the learner to seek to understand what is being taught by listening and applying the knowledge. Help us to be good students and not like selfish six year olds. Help us to live in the world but not be of the world. Create in us a desire to turn from selfishness and need to please or be accepted by others. Remind us often that You will demand an explanation for our behaviour one day and that we will have to account for our actions. Thank you for your grace and mercy as we fall short every day. As a child grows, help us to grow to in knowledge and wisdom as we seek You. Amen.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Ezekiel 22-23; John 13:1-20