Bible Society of South Africa

Let’s take responsibility - 14 February 2024

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Bible text(s)

11When we are punished, it seems to us at the time something to make us sad, not glad. Later, however, those who have been disciplined by such punishment reap the peaceful reward of a righteous life.

Hebrews 12:11GNBOpen in Bible reader

This morning, a homeless man stopped me in the parking lot and asked for money. He explained that he needed toiletries for an upcoming surgery at the hospital. His blue eyes were filled with sadness and his story was soaked with trauma upon trauma.

With my phone ready in hand to call someone for help, I asked, “Devon, are you sure you truly want assistance?” At the radio station where I work, we have an extensive network of people who can help individuals like him get off the streets. “I want to, but I need to get my surgery first,” he replied. He lifted his shirt and pointed to the bag on his stomach. He had been shot and due to damage to his intestines, he now had a colostomy bag.

After our conversation, I pondered: is Devon’s story genuine or is he just unwilling to take responsibility to improve his current situation? Only time will tell, because he promised to return for help after the surgery.

I wonder how often we use excuses not to address areas in our lives that need attention – the extra 10 kg around our waist, the mediocre marriage, that “extra” glass of wine in the evening, the rebellious teenager who always gets their way. Because we know that change will require time, effort and sacrifice, we often postpone it or, to keep the peace, simply let our loved ones have their way (even if we know it might be detrimental).

In Hebrews 12:11, we read: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

No one likes to be disciplined or to discipline someone else. Yet, the fruit of it is always worth the effort.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for your grace with me. Show me the areas in my life that are not in line with your perfect will for me. Give me the strength to change them. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.7
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