Wednesday, November 08, 2006

[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 behaviors!

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, HELP!!!!

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

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