Predicting the Future

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…fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

II Corinthians 10:5

A little boy I work with was misbehaving. I had talked to him once about his behavior and now was attempting to talk to him again. I explained to him that should he continue that behavior for a third time that I would have a consequence for him and a discussion with his mother when she picked him up.

He looked at me questioningly and asked, “so, you think you can predict the future?”

This was a confrontation, not a genuine need to know question.

“Yes, I can safely say that I can predict the future on this issue. You do that again and there will be a consequence and I will talk to your mom.”

He mocked me in front of his friends and walked away but he did not repeat the behavior!

It would be nice if every time I pushed the boundaries, every time I was willing to justify rotten behavior or rotten thinking someone warned me of the consequences up front. Then I could at least make an informed decision as to whether or not I would continue.

Oh, some consequences don’t need to be spelled out before me. I have experienced enough of them to know. But some are seemingly innocent enough and they don’t exactly come with warning labels. I have had to check myself lately more than I care to admit because my thinking has been sliding into negativity and when this happens, I stop doing those things that are good for me.

Things like meditating on God’s word, praying, eating wisely, making sure I get enough sleep, walking in love, letting go of worry, etc.

The consequences of those choices are many. I lose fellowship with God and my world becomes all about me. All about me isn’t really a good place to be. I can get there easily enough just one thought, one behavior at a time. I don’t have to be able to predict the future to know that my thinking leads me astray unless I line my thoughts up with God’s word and keep them lined up with God’s word.

I am not so different from the little boy that was misbehaving. My thoughts lead to behaviors and if I am not careful the consequences could be quite painful. Paul admonishes us in this verse to fit every thought, every impulse and emotion into a life that honors God. The consequences of doing so will be amazing. At least that’s my prediction based on the promises I see in God’s word.

Father, thank You for Your word, for the faithful people who followed after You and wrote of Your goodness. Help me to fit my thoughts and my impulses and emotions into a life that honors You, a life that demonstrates the gratitude that is in my heart for all that You have done for me. I ask that You would help me develop a sensitivity to Your Holy Spirit so that I may be led more easily. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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