DEVOTIONAL: Children Learn What They Live

These nations feared the worst. LordThey also served their idols; their kids and grandchildren did the same, just like their fathers.

II Kings 17:41 (NASB)

A concept called “The Personal Growth Space” is used in the personal growth area. “the halo effect.”Statistics show that when someone makes a positive change in their life, others will follow. People who go to sleep earlier tend to wake up earlier. People who run tend to eat less junk food and watch less TV. In today’s verse, speaking of ethnic groups that later became known as the Samaritans, we see the exact opposite: “So while these nations feared the Lord, they also served their idols.”They tried to combine the good and the bad. The Bible contains many commands. “fear the Lord”Also include the mirror command “Thou shalt have no idols.”Although the Bible is a long book, much of its content has been condensed into the Ten Commandments. Number 1 is the most important. “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 NIV). The idea of “fear the Lord but also serve your idols”It makes sense in the same way as “Steve runs five miles every morning, then comes home and rewards himself with a cigarette”Or “The Smiths are meticulous housekeepers–that’s why they keep ten cats in their home.”

Tragically, this nonsense wasn’t limited to one generation. “[T]heir children likewise and their grandchildren, just as their fathers did, they do to this day.”Children learn by what they do. That’s why we have the common saying, “like father, like son”Also “the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”(In actuality, to demonstrate the universal condition of human nature the second saying is also available in German word for word. Through their choices, lifestyles and priorities, parents and grandparents transmit a worldview every single day, conscious or unconscious.  Are you trying? “fear the Lord and also serve your idols”? If so, that makes just as much sense. “I want to lose ten pounds, and that’s why I eat a pint of ice cream every night.” Plus, if you’ve got younger ones around, they’re watching and learning from you too. Someone said it: “Your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

S.G.D.

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