The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. (J. Powell) When someone with whom we are acquainted, a person we admire, makes a glaring mistake, we have two choices before us, do we learn from that error, or do we duplicate it? To glean understanding from another’s error is a prize greater than any lottery jackpot. As Israel’s last judge, young Samuel was raised up by God to lead his nation during a spiritually chaotic time. Little did Samuel realize at the time, but his first encounter with God would afford him the opportunity to learn from mistakes or duplicate them.
In Samuel’s first recorded interaction with God, he was told to relay an ear-tingling message of judgment upon Eli’s house. Eli, the priest in Shiloh, was Samuel’s mentor, his instructor in the things of God, watching over his young ward as “Samuel ministered unto the LORD.” But judgment was coming to Eli’s house because “his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.” Somewhere in Eli’s performance of his priestly duties, he neglected disciplining his own son’s evil behavior, an iniquity of which he was clearly aware, “for the iniquity which he (Eli) knoweth.” Eli’s lack of tough love regarding his sons would render a death blow for his family.
Samuel had the opportunity to learn the necessity of proper parental oversight from Eli’s tragic failure in that regard, but he didn’t, he duplicated it. Years later we find Samuel’s grown sons equally undisciplined, as they “turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted justice,” just as Eli’s sons had done. How did this cycle repeat…AGAIN? Samuel was a busy circuit-riding man of God, “and he went year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places.” Wow, busy man! But is it possible that this man, invested in the work of God, ministering to the people of God, had failed to prioritize time with his own children in their formative years? Ouch!
How do our children rank on our own priority list? Busy schedules and over-committed lives can often lead to neglect of that which is most dear, those precious lives entrusted to our care. Upon us is the responsibility to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Those little ones can be messy, unnerving, and frustrating, but our time to impact their lives is limited, passing by so quickly. Let’s learn from the errors of others and make each moment with our children count!
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Lord, thank for those precious little lives that You commit to our care. Help us to prioritize our time in order to raise them up to love and to serve You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-3035-62bbf5f2216bd' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=3035&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-3035-62bbf5f2216bd' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-3035-62bbf5f2216bd' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>