How many times have you done something over and over again thinking, “I just did this same thing the other day. Why is it like this again?” Maybe you dusted your furniture and within a day it is completely dusty again. Maybe you just finished mopping your floor and not 10 minutes later some dog or kid comes running through leaving tracks. Maybe you finished that pile of paperwork that was on your desk at work and within a few days a whole new pile of paperwork to do is back on your desk. It really makes you think, “Now wasn’t that a waste of time!” Sometimes even when we are raising our children we teach them the same things over and over again. “Don’t touch that hot stove!” “Do your homework, so you will learn what you need to know to have a job when you grow up!” “Clean your room!” Especially as our kids become teenagers we really begin to wonder if they are even listening. By the time they are ready to move out you wonder if it wasn’t all a big waste of time giving them instruction after instruction, piece of advice after piece of advice. Even when the kids were at church they would sometimes seem to drift or not be listening to the Sunday School teacher or the Preacher. At home you would read them the Bible Stories or teach them little moral lessons out of the Bible and yet they would still seem to test the waters or challenge what you believed.
Thankfully, the majority of the time, when we raise our kids with good sound Biblical doctrine, Christian morals and Biblical concepts they will come back to the spiritual foundations we have laid. Read Proverbs 22:6:
Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
We did what we were supposed to. We made the efforts. We taught the scriptures. We took them to church. We encouraged them in their faith. However, as they turn in to adults we can control them. We have to accept that they will make their own decisions. It is an encouragement to know from this Bible verse that once we have done our part it won’t be a waste of time after all. Most youth will return to what we have taught them. We just need to pray and be patient. We need to be there for them when they need some spiritual wisdom. Never stop being their loving and supportive parent.
So many Christians are going through their daily lives just trying to live good and upright lives and yet many will be attacked by those who don’t believe. They are treated badly, ridiculed, teased, mocked and scoffed at for no real reason sometimes. Other times the actions of a few mis-guided Christians cause the Christians who are on the right track to be bombarded because of their actions, such as in the case of those who were mistaken about the May 21st and soon to be the Oct 21st dates that they promote. We have to learn to accept as followers of God that we will be mis-treated and mis-understood during our lives this life on Earth. If Jesus was mis-understood and mis-treated, we will be too. However, we can put our hope in God during those times. We can learn from His Word that He does take care of those who mis-treat His children. Their time of judgment is coming. Read II Peter 3:3-7.
“3 First, be aware of this: scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, following their own lusts, 4 saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.” 5 They willfully ignore this: long ago the heavens and the earth existed out of water and through water by the word of God. 6 Through these the world of that time perished when it was flooded by water. 7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth are held in store for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
In Noah’s day there were scoffers that would not listen to Noah’s message that he preached to them warning them of the judgment that was to come to those who would not obey God. He suffered through 120 years of hard physical work building the ark while he emotionally suffered through the mocking and scoffing of those who watched him. In the end he saw God’s judgment come to pass and the mocking ended. He saw his faith rewarded for his persistence and endurance during the mocking times. Joshua and Caleb were others who also had great faith and endured others lack of faith. In Numbers chapters 13 and 14 we read about the people of Israel reaching the edge of the promised land. Moses sends out 12 men to spy out the land and come back give a report. Only Joshua and Caleb give a good report and show faith that God will take them in to the land. As a result the people get to the point where they are even going to stone Joshua and Caleb. They scoffed at them. God suddenly intervenes and the people stop while Moses goes and hears what God says. The end result was that the people would not enter the land. They were judged as despising God and would have to wonder in the wilderness until they died and then their children could go in. Only Joshua and Caleb would be allowed to cross over. They received the promise after enduring the mocking. The others received judgment.
As we see in II Peter, all people will receive their judgment for their mocking and scoffing. God will keep His word to us and see us safely to eternity, despite the mocking we may have to endure. God will punish those who despise Him. So cling to that hope and promise. God’s promises found in His Word will serve as encouragement for those times when you deal with mockers.
In the Eighties a series of commercials appeared with several people having a conversation that would move in to a conversation about E.F. Hutton, a stock brokerage firm. As they mentioned the name E.F. Hutton everyone within earshot would silence themselves and focus in on the people having the conversation. The commercials had the tag line “When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen.” It was a classic series of commercials that really drove home the point that people will stop what they are doing to listen to good advice that will profit them. In I Kings 10:23-24 we have a real life case in point:
“23 King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the world in riches and in wisdom. 24 The whole world wanted an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart.”
Can you imagine having that kind of power? To simply speak and people listen to you. To know that what you are saying is of value and could change lives. Solomon changed people’s lives when He spoke God’s wisdom, so much so, that people came from around the world to just listen. I love that example of him with the two mothers and the fight over the last living baby. How wonderful. He saved that child and gave him back to his rightful mom.
We too can have that special ability to change people’s lives, when we speak. The key is that we really have to let “Wisdom” do the speaking. In other words, God must speak through us. We must seek wisdom first like Solomon did and God will provide. I know I waste a lot of words on useless things, but I definitely enjoy the times I share words of wisdom much more. I am far more blessed. Join me in the search for wisdom and the sharing of it. If you find wisdom, you will change the world for God. People will listen.