Copyright © Field Lily Press
Design by Dzignine

Saturday, August 7, 2010

An Honest Reply

One of my favorite Facebook pages is Training Children with Grace & Truth, the Facebook page of Grace and Truth Books. Throughout the day they post quotes from Godly men and women both past and present. As a reader, I am almost always heavily impacted by the weight of wisdom each quote holds. Today Vance Havner is quoted in saying:

"No man or woman ever had a nobler challenge or a higher privilege than to bring up a child for God, and whenever we slight that privilege or neglect that ministry for anything else, we live to mourn it in heartache and grief."

Convicted and tugged upon, I replied:

When I think of the "willfully" missed moments and opportunity with my children, it does cause me grief. Noble challenges and privilege are often coupled with seeming inconvenience; the inconvenience of dying to self to seize a teachable moment or to see discipline through to its desired effect. I thank the Lord for the grace to begin again with corrected vision.

The honest part of my reply is where I indicate the willfulness of my choices to disregard the opportunity and challenge to raise up a particular man or woman of God secretly disguised in a small person's body. Facebook, Google News, Emails, and Curriculum searches galore have often taken precedence over my own "created in His image" flesh and blood children. In Chapter 19:13, the Psalmist writes: "Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then shall I be blameless, and I shall be innocent {and} clear of great transgression."

This version uses the word, presumptuous, while others use the word, willful. Here's what Forerunner Commentary says about presumptuous:
The word presumption does not quite mean in Hebrew what it does in English. In English, it simply means "to assume," to take a matter upon oneself without considering all the factors and doing it. However, in the Old Testament, it carries the idea of acting arrogantly—of rebellion. In fact, it means to do something with audacity or to be headstrong. It refers to those who overstep their bounds or dare to act in a disobedient manner. A willfulness is implied in the word that is not contained in English, making it much more forceful.

In other words, a person who sins presumptuously is fully aware of what he is doing; he is fully educated and not in ignorance either of what he is doing or the potential cost of doing it, and he deliberately sets his mind to do it. It is an act of rebellion, an audacious setting one's will, despite all he knows, to go ahead and do it anyway.
I know I am not the only one "out there" who makes this same confession. While some may not have been walking with Christ during those child-rearing years, that is not my particular situation. I know the Lord, and I have learned His ways over the years. I can say there truly are times when I willfully, knowingly, and dare I say, rebelliously, have ignored a moment that may not come my way again: that moment to teach, disciple and mentor an observing and pliable piece of clay who lies within my grasp and sphere of influence.

What's in your earthen vessel? I challenge you (and me) to reach into your vessel, sieze the teachable moment and expose the treasure of wisdom from within. Make it easy to grasp for the one who would behold it, child or peer. Wrap it with mercy and tie it with grace and enduring love. Tell it to your children, and your children's children. Let one generation tell of His works to another. Don't skip out on or shortchange the next generation. We are now more desperate than ever for truth, wisdom, and a faithful wound. Repent with me, and rise up to finish the race laid out before us.