DOING THINGS OUR OWN WAY-INSTEAD OF GOD’S WAY-CAN GET US INTO A LOT OF TROUBLE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Genesis 4:1-7.
Verse of the Day: “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7, NIV).
Paul heard a loud noise in the backyard. He ran toward the noise and saw his little brother, Greg, kneeling beside the lawn mower.
“What happened?” Paul said, as he stood beside Greg.
Greg wore a frown. “I ran over a big branch.” He lifted one end of the stick. The other end was lodged in the blade of the lawn mower.
Paul pushed the lawn mower on its side and looked underneath. A tangled mess of wood and metal could be seen. He whistled. “How did you miss seeing this?”
Greg shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said.
Paul cocked his head to one side. “You did look for rocks and sticks before you started mowing, didn’t you?”
Greg looked as though he didn’t want to answer. “I like doing things my own way.”
Paul knew that his brother hadn’t walked through the yard picking up rocks and sticks the way their father had taught them. “Well, your ‘own way’ has sure messed up the lawn mower. I don’t know if I can fix this.”
The brothers carried the lawn mower into their dad’s workshop and started trying to fix it. They were still working when Dad got home. Dad was upset about the lawn mower, but he didn’t get mad when Paul and Greg explained what had happened, and why. Instead, he put his arm around his younger son.
“Greg,” he said, “I understand that you like doing things your own way. All of us do. It’s natural. It goes way back to the days of Cain and Abel, when Cain tried to worship God his own way, while Abel did things God’s way. I do pretty much the same thing. Most of the time, when I make a wrong choice, it’s not because I didn’t know which way was right; it’s usually because I wanted to do things my own way-instead of doing things God’s way.”
Greg studied the mangled blade of the lawn mower. “Doing things our own way sure can get us into a lot of trouble,” he said.
Dad smiled ruefully. “Yeah,” he said. “I’ve found that out a time or two myself.”
TO DO: Break a twig into small pieces. Have everyone in the family carry a piece of the twig in his or her pocket or purse today to remember that doing things our own way—instead of God’s way—can get us into a lot of trouble.
TO PRAY: “Abba Father, help us to live our lives your way, rather than by our own rules.”