Tuesday’s Torch 570
January 14, 2020
God has placed a lot of trust in us. We are here on this earth and we are presented with all these choices. So many things are righteous ones and yet there often seems to be so many more unrighteousness ones. It’s up to us to decide.
Agency, the freedom we are given by God to do as we please is an amazingly powerful thing and it’s scary at the same time. As we each go through different experiences in life we start to learn and to grow, we start to know how things work and what the consequences or end results will be if we make certain choices.
And as we get used to that we have to realize that God already knows the outcomes to any of the decisions we can make. He sees them, knows about them, we can receive inspiration but ultimately the decisions are left up to us to choose for ourselves. We often rely on our own experiences to decide what to do.
I learned a lesson recently when getting my children in the bed. It’s one I should have learned sooner and thought that I had learned and fixed it in myself but hadn’t yet. See, I like to be in control of things if possible. I mean most everyone wants things to go how they want them to go right? For me, especially if I think I know something, of if I have learned something by experience then I try to make decisions for my loved ones because I think that i know something is a bad idea or “won’t work”.
But they don’t know for themselves if it will or not, and if I take away the ability to choose, it robs them of opportunity to learn what I think I’ve already learned or it robs me of the ability to learn that I was wrong and maybe there’s a better way. I will share an example regarding children as well as one that applies to marriage.
A couple different times over the past few months my daughter has gotten ahold of one of those thick cloths for cleaning or polishing a car. The really thick plushy ones. She would be laying it on her pillow and preparing to sleep on it, so what did do? I said “take that off the pillow it’ll be too hot and you’ll wake up sweating”. She would protest but ultimately did as I said because I’m daddy right? I know best, right? Haha. I wish.
Then the last time I looked over and saw she had laid it on the pillow, just as I was about to make her remove it, I stopped and thought. How will she ever know if sleeping on this thick furry cloth is a good idea or not if I keep her from trying? And it was a harmless enough thing. I mean, so she wakes up because it’s hot to sleep on it, if that happens, lesson learned. If she sleeps comfortably all night long then I learn the lesson.
A very interesting thing happened. Just as I was about to tell her to move it I said, you can sleep with it on your pillow if you want to, it’s up to you. A moment later she moved it and said “no I don’t want to”. See she remembered what I told her would happen and I guess she believed me. So she still doesn’t know for a fact if she would sleep good on it but she is trusting me.
So I share this because there are different gospel lessons to learn by it. One, God gives us agency so that we can learn and grow. We can learn things for ourselves and not just take his word for it, but we do so at the risk of uncomfortable consequences sometimes. But it’s part of how I we learn.
Second, he gives us commandments and certain rules to follow because he absolutely does know what consequences or difficulties await us if we choose certain things and often times He will warn us in different ways. Sometimes bad things just happen, but other times they happen as we’ve put ourselves down a path we shouldn’t have been on. So we can choose to take his word for it, and keep the commandments or rules. In a similar way to my daughter choosing to trust me.
Third we must put these things together and realize that if God doesn’t force us to do the right thing, or force us to do the things He knows would be best for us, why should we force our hand always just because we think we know something. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place to allow your kids to learn. When true safety issues or real danger is involved, by all means, step in and keep your kid safe, but we need to allow others and ourselves the chance to learn.
And maybe I shouldn’t but I’m gonna share a previous mistake I made in life so maybe someone else won’t make the same one and to show that even as stubborn as I am, I’ve been able to learn from my mistakes at least a little. So a few times in the past, I tried to make a daily schedule and I packed it with the things I felt needed to be done every day, I got them down with exactness. And then I failed miserably at keeping them. Just couldn’t do it. And it was probably more to do with me and the way I am than anything about the schedule or checklist.
So then later in life I was blessed to be married. And my wife at the time tried a couple different times to make us a schedule that had all the important things that we absolutely should have been doing every day listed. It was exact and precise and I’ll say this, had we followed them, our family would have been strengthened in so many ways. But what did I do? I said it wouldn’t work. That I had tried that in the past and it didn’t work. I thought I knew best and made a decision based on my experiences and didn’t take into account that this time may have been the time it worked. I didn’t even try. Not even for a day. She put forth the effort to try something that could have been great for us, and I didn’t try it because I thought I knew something. That I knew how it would turn out simply because I had failed before. So I couldn’t learn if it would have worked or not and neither could she. Either way, had we tried, we both would have known and would have the experience of it working or of it not working. I will forever regret that but I will never forget the lesson I’ve learned from it.
We are all given this great blessing from God to make our own choices and to learn and grow from them. I ask each of us to look at ourselves, look at our circumstances and our situations and think of what lessons we have learned or can learn. What improvements can we make on how we interact with our loved ones. Do we allow them the opportunity to learn things we think we already know. Do we allow them the opportunity to prove us wrong and allow ourselves the ability to discover how wrong we may be?
If God who knows everything doesn’t use His power and His ability to make us do everything His way, should we expect everything to go our way? Should we expect everyone to accept our opinions as facts and go along with them? The answer is no. And that’s ok. We should strive to me more like Christ and more like our Father in Heaven. We should strive to be more Christlike in thoughts, words and in deeds. And if this seems like a big challenge or you’re going through some tremendous struggles right now, remember this promise from Isaiah 41:13
“I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Let us accept that help. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Tuesdays Torch has been viewed in countries all across the globe through our website and social media. We pray the words of every Torch will sink into the hearts and minds of readers. Please share Tuesdays Torch and encourage others with it. To partner with Tuesdays Torch and help expand our reach please contact us. We pray the Lord will touch our readers. All of what Christ did was so we would believe. He told us not to believe because of what He said but in what He did (John 14:11). Every Tuesday we talk about what He did and is still doing. The best thing God’s done is send His Son so we could be saved (John 3:16). If anyone is not a believer we pray they will invite the Lord into their lives by asking Him to forgive their sins and believing that He is the Son of God. Please share testimonies, feedback or encouraging words by email at: email@example.com enjoy hearing from you. Look out for next Tuesdays Torch on our website http://www.tuesdaystorch.com , by email, Facebook and Twitter @tuesdaystorch Thanks and God Bless!
No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16