Originally Posted Feb. 19, 2021
“ Don’t act like a spoiled brat” !!! … my mother’s words still echo in my ears. It was not a compliment. A spoiled brat is characterized by “excessive, self-centered, and immature behavior, a lack of consideration for other people, recurrent temper tantrums, demands for having one’s own way, manipulation to get their way….” (Richard Weaver, “Ideas Have Consequences”)
While being a spoiled brat is not attractive in a child, it’s really not attractive in an adult ….. ”me, me, me, me ….. my, my, my, my ….. I’m the king here, it’s “my way or the highway” ….. God is okay as long as he does what I say…. I’ll scream or hold my breath until I get my way”. Little spoiled brats, left to themselves, can turn in to self-centered tyrants as they get older…hmmmm.
While the proverbial spoiled brat can often outlast their parents who give up trying to correct them, they can never outlast God. The Lord made it very clear to the Israelites, who were acting like spoiled brats, that he would have the last word, regardless of how much they resisted.
“See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live. (Deut. 30:15-19)
God in his love and mercy will not give us our own way when it’s in opposition to his truth. We can resist his ways, we can hold our breath, we can go our own way, but in the final analysis, it doesn’t work. God’s truth is everlasting. At times it may seem that “man’s ways are winning, that “might makes right”, or the “majority decides”, but no…. when the dust settles, God’s truth stands and everything else is dust. It’s just a matter of time. This is true for societies and cultures who “want their own way” and seem to be getting it at times, but it is also true for individuals like you and me who want their own way even when opposed to God. The wages of sin is death. Period. God’s ways will prevail.
So, the future for “spoiled brats” is not bright. Yet, if any of us “choose life”, then our future will be great and we shall live. May this Lenten season be a time for us to choose life…. and all will be well with our soul.