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Faithful utterances

Time to do something different

by Froswa Booker-Drew
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew

When I was a little girl, I did not get a lot of spankings. My cousin that lived with us, on the other hand, was the one who was ALWAYS getting into trouble. That boy would get into trouble, because he did not listen. As a child, he wanted to do things his way.

My parents did not play and they were swift in their punishment with both of us. I learned very quickly and often watched the mistakes of others which served as lessons for me. That’s not to say that I did everything correctly, but I did not like getting into trouble.

I didn’t particularly appreciate being punished. As a result, I tried to learn what my parents required and worked hard to do it. I learned as a child that “obedience was better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22) with my parents. As an adult, I’ve learned that with God.

We live in a world where everything goes. When people are called out on bad behavior, it becomes an attack on the individual who makes the assertion. One of the words that we don’t talk much about is ‘repenting.’ To repent means to “feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.” People prefer to defend themselves instead of apologize and seek true repentance.

We are witnessing in the church more justification of behavior than true remorse and turning away from wrongdoing. Repenting is about turning to God. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 3:19. Too many seek the approval and acceptance of others rather than of God. This not only happens in the church but also our homes.

Too many parents are interested in being liked by their children instead of correcting bad behavior that will lead to destruction. Sadly, many of our children are modeling what they are seeing at home. It’s unrealistic to expect schools to be responsible for teaching our children how to live when parents are their children’s first teachers.

We have a responsibility to our children and God.

If you are not familiar with the story of Samuel and Eli, I would encourage you to read Samuel’s calling to offer more context. Samuel heard his name called and assumed it was Eli. After the third time he heard his name, Eli, the priest, told him to answer God’s calls. “And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering,’” 1 Samuel 3:11-14.

Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were called ‘wicked’ because of their acts. They were in positions of power as priests and used their power to promote their agenda. Eli knew what his sons were doing and said nothing. He could stop this behavior and chose not to. He allowed this behavior to go on and turned his head. How often are we doing this in our homes and other places of influence that we choose to look the other way?

God told Samuel that Eli was going to be held accountable for his lack of involvement just as his sons would be. I believe this is a lesson for so many of us.

There are consequences for not standing up and speaking out. Eli had reached a point where his repentance would not save him.

While we still have time, we all have a chance to do something different. We can do something different and turn back to God.

(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the president of Soulstice Consultancy, LLC and the founder of the Reconciliation and Restoration <r2fdn.org> Foundation. The author of four books including Empowering Charity: A New Narrative of Philanthropy, Dr. Booker-Drew is also the host of the Tapestry podcast.)

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