Love you all, praying for you.
April with Reece at the doctor, I am asking God to help me finish strong this week and prepare for next week. God put in my spirit today… Thou shalt not steal.
There are three things people steal. They steal obedience. They steal reputation. They steal consequence.
Never steal someone’s obedience. Do not downplay what God may be prompting them to do. Like the kid who says, “It’s getting late, I gotta go…” “Aw, don’t be such a wimp, everyone is going, come on, you can still get back in time…” No, God was prompting him to leave, to demonstrate responsibility to his parents by being early for curfew, and you contradicted what the Holy Spirit was telling him. Like the old prophet who delayed the young prophet from obeying what God told him, and it cost him his life.
Nothing is more important than obeying what God tells you. Do not deter people from complete obedience, and do not let anyone deter you. “Well God doesn’t expect you to go that far… He doesn’t expect you to…” How do you know what God is telling them? You better shut up. Rather pray for them that they would have discernment and obey only what God says, and then to obey no matter how crazy it sounds. If they hear a message from a preacher that is making them think… It’s not your job to say what you heard about that preacher… that’s not your business. Do not speak against God’s anointed, and do not discourage anyone who is trying to hear and do what God is saying. Instead pray for them, and encourage them.
Second, never steal someone’s reputation. Do not speak an unkind word or any word that casts doubt on someone’s character. You don’t know for sure what they were thinking, or what pressure they were facing. God says overlook offenses, not bring attention to them. Do not say anything harmful. And do not allow others to speak badly of someone. Not your boss, your friend, those in positions of authority. Or even someone you don’t know. Believe the best, redirect the conversation.
“They might have just screwed up that time, I know I’ve done that before… Hey, that reminds me…” You can redirect without confrontation. Develop the skill. You cannot 'say nothing harmful’ if that’s your habit. Change your habit. Check yourself. You don’t need to criticize. It doesn’t help anyone, least of all, you. Make a habit of saying something positive. The first thing out of your mouth should be praise. If that’s your habit, something harmful would be foreign to your lips. It would feel awkward and uncomfortable even saying it.
Third, don’t steal the consequence. Parents are most guilty of this. Johnny did not obey Daddy who has told him many times, “When you’re done riding your bike, put it back in the garage before you do anything else.” No, Johnny left it in the street and the garbage truck ran over it. But Daddy will go to the store tomorrow and get Johnny a new bike. You see, Daddy stole the consequence that was intended to bring Johnny to maturity. Now Johnny is trained in disobedience and irresponsibility. Don’t hire him, He’ll leave your stuff on the street.
Failure is a gift from God. God uses it to teach us:
.1) We are doing the wrong thing. (Our efforts are invested in the wrong place. (There is no need for me to train in Sumo, I’m 5’11” a buck fifty soaking wet. My time and energy is best focused elsewhere.)
.2) The strategy we used, or the effort we put forth is insufficient for success. People who never face the consequence of their failures will never learn to succeed. Don’t steal the consequence, not from your kids, or from your friends. Bear their burdens, yes, but they have to carry their own load. Prov 19:19 A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty, rescue him and you’ll have to rescue him again.
So don’t steal someone’s obedience. Encourage them to discern, but fully obey. Don’t steal someone’s reputation. Never say anything harmful. This is the fear of the LORD. Don’t steal consequences. Stand with them, encourage them in doing what’s right and learning for the future. That’s what good parents, and good friends do.
And also, don’t steal “someone’s thunder” (finishing their story, or telling the punch-line). That’s just pride, it’s rude, you’re not more important than them. And don’t steal credit. Give honor where honor is due, give credit where credit is due. Take responsibility, share credit. God will make sure to credit you in due season. Humble yourself. Let him lift you up. He can do it better than you can anyway. Praying for you that your words would always be life.
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Daily Huddle -