Jeff had just gotten his drivers license and decided he was going to drive down to the corner store and get an ice cream cone. His nephew Trey, who was about 3 or 4 years old at the time was visiting his Mamaw and Papaw so Jeff decided to ask the little fellow if he wanted an ice cream cone too. Trey who was preoccupied as little ones will be, told his Uncle Jeff, No, because as little ones will, he was focused on whatever he was doing at the time and didn’t want to stop doing that.
So Jeff made his way up to the store and since the ice cream cones were 2 for a dollar Jeff thought “Why not?” and bought two. As he was driving back home he began to eat one of them and walking in the door of his home with two ice cream cones in his hands, Jeff nephew saw them both and asked for one.
Jeff, thinking he would teach the child a lesson told him “No!” because after all, Jeff had asked him earlier and in Jeff’s mind the child should of said yes then and not waited till he got back home with one. Well, as little ones will. Trey began to cry and as Jeff tried to explain why he wasn’t going to share his ice cream cone with his little nephew. Jeff’s dad hearing his name sake, first born grandchild crying, came in from the other room to investigate the cause.
When Jeff explained his side of the story, which didn’t hold up very well in grandparent court that day. Jeff’s dad told Jeff to give Trey one of his ice cream cones. This did not make Jeff happy at all, so he offered Trey the half eaten ice cream cone. To which Jeff’s dad shook his head and said, no give him the uneaten one. This made Jeff even more anger so he slammed the whole ice cream cone down on the table making the cone crumbled and the whole thing landed on it’s side, on the table, which ensued louder and more hysterical crying from the child and a look from Jeff’s father that could kill.
Jeff’s dad Trammell told him to go to his room where he would deal with him later. Jeff protesting the whole time did as his father asked and walked to his room. Upset at the injustice that had just happened in the room when his 16 yr old self was just trying to teach the spoiled grandchild a lesson. At least that is howJeff saw the situation that day.
After Jeff’s dad had cooled off, and Trey had calmed down. Trammell came into Jeff’s room. Jeff was fulling expecting his father to give the corporal punishment he was use to in situations like this. In fact, Jeff says he even pondered how many pairs of underwear should he put on, to lesson the blow of the how situation could turn out. You know, kind of pad the consequences per say.
But this time when Jeff’s down walked in to his room, it was different. He told Jeff who was now as tall as his father and weigh more than Trammell did. “Son, your getting to big for me to whip now, You know what you did is wrong,” Then Jeff’s dad added “ I think the best thing for you to do, is just kneel down here beside the bed and ask God to forgive you”
Oh! Jeff says at that point all he could think about was he just wished his daddy would spank him! Anything but having to confuse his sin to God.
Jeff was reminded of a valuable lesson that day James 4:17 says “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, to him it is sin”
Jeff knew the right thing to do was to share. In his heart he knows the little kid didn’t really have the cognitive abilities to make that decision of not wanting to go with Uncle Jeff to get and ice cream cone, and would always choose an ice cream cone as soon as he saw it. In fact that might of been part of what made Jeff buy 2 ice cream cones that day.
But the bottom line is, Jeff knew the right thing to do was to share, the right thing to do is to always care for those weaker than ourselves and bless those who can’t help themselves.
During the holidays, sometimes this can be the hardest thing to do. Often times we might see people who haven’t given us the time of day the other 364 days of the year, but yet all of a sudden want to be friends with you this one day of the year.
Our natural instinct might be to ignore them or avoid them, after all, one could think “If they don’t care about having anything to do with me the rest of the year, why should I have anything to do with them on this one day?”
But is that really the right attitude to have? Again, we need to refer to James 4:17 I think this might have been the first verse I ever taught my children “He that knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, to him it is sin”.
We often know the right thing to do but our want to, is often lacking. Jeff knew he needed to share, but he wanted to make a point to his little nephew and his opinion of what needed to be done, superseded what he knew was right at the time which caused his father to have to bring his attention back to the right thing, and that is what would Jesus do.
Isn’t Trey a lot like us though, how many times has God called us and wanted to give us a good gift, but because we are to busy doing our own thing, we push Him aside in essence telling Him. No! Only to realize we had made a mistake and we wanted what He had.
Luckily it is never too late for us to get on our knees and ask God to forgive us and tell Him we want what He has offered us. God isn’t as petty as we are and although we may reject Him all year long He is always waiting with outstretched arms to welcome us home. He loves us and wants to forgive us of anything we have done.
But just like the scene around the table at Jeff’s parent’s home. Our life can be chaos until we decide to do what we know is right to do.
God’s word says “If we will confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. It is only when we confess and decide to walk in God’s will that He will walk with us and help us in the chaotic times of life.