Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fwd: [twbowes-devotions] Devotion: Things Learned and Repeated

Things Learned and Repeated

When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, "She is
my sister," for he feared to say, "My wife," thinking, "lest the men
of the place should kill me because of Rebekah," because she was
attractive in appearance. -- Genesis 26:7; English Standard Version

I often walk with my hands in my pockets. I often do a lot of things
with my hands in my pockets. Apparently, a lot of people think that is
strange because it is constantly commented on. I remember an older man
saying, "Hey, boy, you Billy's son?" "Yes, sir," I quickly reply,
wondering where the conversation might be headed. He laughed and said,
"Yeah, I can tell. Ever since he was a boy he walked with his hands in
his pockets and so do you!" (I always enjoy writing in the
vernacular!) I don't know if I got that habit from my dad, but it's
certainly okay if I did.

My dad has a foul temper. If he reads this he will not like my saying
that about him, but it's true. When my dad gets angry it's an awful
thing. It's not his anger that is so bad, but it's the way he reacts
to people and things when he becomes angry. He shouts. He says
impulsive things. He does impulsive things. I learned how to handle my
temper from dad too. That's not good.

We may not think about it, but we teach people to emulate our
behavior. In particular, we teach our children to emulate our
behavior. You might be a young person who has no children. So? I could
tell you a hundred stories of the ways I emulated uncles, cousins,
friends and my brothers (especially those guys!).

You might be saying to yourself, "What has any of this to do with
today's verse?" A lot.

We find Isaac emulating his father, Abraham, in a bad way. Isaac lied
about Rebekah, saying she was his sister. Check your Bible history;
Abraham did the same thing! Of course, Abraham did it a LONG time
before Isaac was born, but I have no doubt that Isaac had heard the
story several times upon his father's knee (Genesis 20).

What was the sin? Good question. Both men were practicing deception to
protect themselves and their personal interests. What does this teach
a child (or anyone else)? It teaches them that its okay to lie as long
as one is protecting themselves. It's never okay to sin.

We may not want to believe it, but people emulate out example. PARENTS
BEWARE: we cannot afford to teach our children sinful attitudes and

Abraham might have liked to walk around with his hands in his pockets
and Isaac may have picked up on that. So what. Scripture does not
speak on this, and if it did it would be highly doubtful that it would
be deemed sinful. That's a silly, yet clear, example of something we
might pass along that is not a bad thing.

However, there are a host of things we might pass on that ARE sinful.
Racism. Greed. Gossiping. Foul language. Unethical business tactics.
Disrespecting authority. Selfishness. Vanity. Pride. Laziness. How
many things should I list?

Furthermore, I could mention things that are not sinful, but harmful.
Failure to exercise discernment. Choosing good over best. Failure to
execute strength for the weak or a voice for the voiceless. Lots more
could be said.

None of these individual things are the point. The point is that we
pass things on. That's a fact. Our lives show things to be learned.
Our lives will leave things to be repeated. What are we doing? What
will we leave behind?

Tough question. I've got two little blonde-bombshells lying in their
beds as I type. I've got some good living and leaving to do for them.
Furthermore, I've got a world of folks that I want to leave good,
godly habits for. Whew! By HIS grace, I can do it. Holy Spirit,

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

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