What Did I Tell You to Do?

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What Did I Tell You to Do?

Recently, I’ve had to implement a new method to giving instructions to Rachel.  After telling her to do something, I would discover that it wasn’t done.  I’d find myself saying, “What did I tell you to do?”  She’d claim that she didn’t hear me, and I’d end up repeating the same thing three or four times, wearing myself out in the process.  In my frustration, I’d often resort to yelling things like, “Why are your shoes still by the back door when I’ve told you three times to put them away?”  Or, “Why aren’t your teeth brushed?  I told you to do it twenty minutes ago!”  I think you get the picture.

A wise lady suggested that when I tell Rachel to do something, have her repeat the instructions back to me.  If she fails to do what I told her to do, she can’t use her normal excuse of not hearing me.  I am amazed at how well this method has worked for us!

I have a feeling that sometimes God wants to yell at us, “What did I tell you to do?”  Not that God needs to hear us repeat the instructions He’s given us, but WE need to speak them verbally so that they stick in our mind.

When I have trouble in submitting to my husband, I can say, “Jesus didn’t hurl insults when He was insulted, nor did He retaliate.  He didn’t make threats, but He entrusted Himself to God, who judges justly.  In the same way, I am to be submissive to my husband.  I am to be like the holy women of old, who put their hope in God.” (I Peter 2:23, II Peter 3:1, 5)  Keep in mind that I’m not saying that you should submit to a husband who abuses you or your children, or that you should submit if your husband asks you to do something that is clearly sinful.

When I am having a hard time forgiving someone, I can remind myself, “Stacy, you are to forgive others as Christ forgave you for all of your sins.  If you don’t, Jesus won’t forgive you for the sins you’ve committed.” (Matthew 6:14; Colossians 3:13)

When I have trouble trusting God, I can remind myself, “If I trust God with all of my heart, instead of relying on my own understanding, and if I acknowledge Him in all my ways, then He promises to make my way straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

If I want favor with God and man, I can tell myself daily, “If I will not let love and faithfulness leave me, but bind them upon my mind and write them on my heart, I will win favor and a good name with God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)

When I struggle with being content, I can say, “Godliness with contentment is great gain, and I am in the process of training myself to be godly.” (I Timothy 4:7; 6:6)

When I struggle with overeating or eating the wrong things, as I reach for some food, I can ask myself, “Does eating this food bring glory to God?” (I Corinthians 10:31) I can remind myself that my body is a temple of the Lord, and I am to honor God with that temple.

When I struggle with the temptation to gossip, I can ask myself if I want someone to gossip about me.  After all, you do reap what you sow.  I can tell myself that if I have a loose tongue, I have a heart that is of little value. (Proverbs 19:20) If I gossip, I’m like a foolish woman, who will die for her lack of judgment. (Proverbs 19:21) If I gossip, I’m like a pig with a gold ring in its snout because I show a lack of discretion with my tongue. (Proverbs 11:22)

If I struggle with a secret sin, I can say, “Stacy, as long as you hide this sin, you won’t prosper, but if you’re willing to give it up, you’ll find mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13) I can remind myself that if I cherish sin in my heart, that God won’t hear my prayers. (Psalm 66:18) I have heard people say that their sin doesn’t affect others, but I believe that it does.  When I am cherishing sin in my heart, and someone asks me to pray for them, my prayers are ineffective because a holy God can’t listen to the prayers of someone who is cherishing sin.  Cherishing sin is the ultimate in selfishness.  By cherishing a sin, we are saying that our cherished sin is more important than interceding for someone.

Are you in a place where you need to repeat Father’s instructions?
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller


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