Friday, October 7

For My Own Good

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. --Proverbs 3:1

Like most parents, mine had a number of house rules that my sister and I were expected to obey. I used to think this was because they were grownups and just wanted to be on a power trip. For a time I had no clue what the phrase "it's for your own good" really meant. More than just coming up with a set of rules, my parents raised me to make good decisions that stem from good character. The rules per se didn't make me who I am, but the underlying principles certainly shaped my attitude. Now that I'm older, I see the benefit of those rules and I appreciate the impact they made. All of the things that were "for my own good" have helped me become a good wife, a faithful Christian, and a hard worker.

As our heavenly parent, God has described to us a number of things that are for our own good. He communicates these to us through His Word. The underlying principles of His commands are there to shape us into faithful followers of Him. Not only that, but by being obedient to His commands, we will be looked upon in a favorable light by the rest of the world (see Prov. 3:4). It is for our own good that God tells us how we are to live. King Solomon knew this, and he took responsibility for passing that knowledge on to his son in Proverbs chapter 3.

Is following God easy? Hardly. Is obeying God fun? Not always--especially when there are things in this world that look very enticing. Sadly, too many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, think that the cost of obeying God is not worth it. They think that participating in what the world has to offer is far more gainful. They fail to see the potential physical, emotional or spiritual dangers that are the price paid for disobedience.

When we keep the Father's commands in our hearts, life is prolonged and we are blessed with prosperity. I think this can be interpreted on a physical and spiritual level. For example, by keeping ourselves free from sexual immorality we don't run the risk of contracting some incurable and devastating disease. This is one way that our life is prolonged. As a spiritual example, obeying God's command that we gather regularly with other believers is a way to be encouraged by the Body of Christ. This is one of the ways we are blessed in prosperity.

Because God is omniscient (all-knowing) I have no reason to doubt Him when He tells me that I need to obey His commands for my own good. It's difficult to remain obedient in this world, but I know that the lasting benefits are worthwhile. Even more appealing than a prolonged or prosperous life on earth is the promise of eternal life. I praise God for His righteous commands and his sovereignty. No matter what struggles I face here on earth, I have the hope that His plan for me is for my own good.



At 9:15 PM, Blogger Maciej said...

Great article...I will be sure to keep stopping by.


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