It was the…I don’t know (I lost count)…time that I told him, “No,” and redirected him to something he could have. My patience was getting exercised, for sure! Our puppy is growing quickly and has found that it’s pretty easy for him to get what’s on our end tables! I kept taking things off the end table to “puppy-proof” it, as I realized what he was now capable of reaching. Unfortunately, it was too late for a creation our son had made a few years ago in school, and a crocheted coaster our daughter had just learned to make was the newest target. He also thought it was fun to find out what was in that clear glass! Thankfully, it was just water, as he knocked the glass onto the wood floor, and water went everywhere! I was so annoyed that he continued and continued to do the opposite of what I was saying! I had told him, “No!” and showed him what was good for him. Why did he keep doing what he shouldn’t?! Later that day, after I picked up the kids from school, some other discussions took place between humans. It was like déjà vu!! Why was no one listening to my instruction?!?
That particular day, I was extremely frustrated…when the LORD gently reminded me to look in the mirror; I do the same thing!! It was like He was saying to me what He said to Cain in Genesis 4:7.
“If you do well, will your face not be cheerful? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”Genesis 4:7 NASB
This verse kept running through my mind. I don’t always choose the right thing to do, either, and how many times has my Father wished I would choose differently?!? He has shown me the best way, yet I continue to choose otherwise.
Let me be clear. This verse is not coming from a comparative view, where we think, “Well, I could have done _____, and I didn’t, so, at least, I made a decent choice,” “Did you see what they did?!? I’m not that bad!” or “Are you for real?!? You know what they did to me, right?!? They had that comin’ to ’em!” This verse is referring to our making the right decisions, according to what God thinks is right, not according to others! This is also an absolute word, in the original text, so we’re to look at our decisions as a whole, not just isolated instances.
Then, there are the days like just now, as I’m typing this, that our puppy wakes up from his nap, comes up to the couch where I’m sitting, eyes the spot next to me (where he knows he’s not allowed, but has jumped up there several times already today), and puts one paw on the couch; I tell him, “No,” and gently guide him back to all fours on the floor. He sits and looks longingly at me; I get down on the floor with him and give him lots of praise and lovin’! I’m so proud of him for listening the first time! Then, he walks over to the chair, where, again, he has decided to plop himself several times today, where he knows he’s not allowed (he has a number of soft blankets and a very plush bed, but his desire for where we sit overwhelms him, at times), yet, this time, he looked at the chair for a moment and passed it! I was ecstatic, and he knew it! He made the right choice, and I was so pleased; this made his tail just wag like crazy!
There are also the days when our kiddos come home, know what they need to do, and they do it without being asked or guided. One might even give me the itinerary of homework for the evening in preparation for the next day. In those moments, I know they are maturing and choosing well, and I am so proud of them!
Did you notice what the verse implies will happen if you make morally right choices?
There are a number of meanings, here, including acceptance, forgiveness, facial expressions being lifted up, and being and looking happier and more optimistic!
And if you don’t make morally right choices?
Sin, which is doing the wrong thing, according to God’s view of wrong; making a mistake/error; or missing the mark (the way God has intended for us to live in order to bring Him glory here on earth), will lay down there at the entrance or door of your soul (your mind, will, and feelings). It’s at home there; it will make it its home. Any decision that tries to make its way out of you, any thought that makes its way in, any desire that arises goes through it as a filter; it wants to control you.
The goal here is to not let these thoughts go unchecked at the door of our minds, stand firm in our desire to serve God, not sin/Satan, and not act out of the emotions that initially raise their heads from a slumber. Take a look in the mirror. What expressions are you wearing? Are you visibly different, because you know you are honoring God with all of your will, thoughts, and emotions?
Whoo! This speaks to me, as the concept has over the last couple years…especially the thoughts and emotions part.
Does it speak to you?
What do you see when you look in the mirror?