Monday, October 14
Ecclesiastes 12:11, “The words of the wise are like goads—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.”
John 14:23, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
Not all pain is the same. There is a form of pain that is good and protective, helping us to avoid damaging ourselves. It is the pain that leads to progress, not decline. We should embrace this type of pain, not prevent it. The key to successful living is recognizing and responding to this kind of pain — letting it help manage our lives.
In the ancient world a good shepherd would create a bit of pain by using a goad, a sharp metal object with a handle, to compel sheep who were wandering off into danger to get back on the safe path. The goad would be painful, but the animal would soon learn its lesson and stay on the protected path.
In our lives, Jesus is the good shepherd and God’s Word, the Bible, is His goad. Sometimes that goad is painful because it runs counter to what we think is best. The question is this: will we ignore the pain and wander off the path leading to destruction or will we allow the pain to keep us on the right path leading to life and success? Obey or not obey? It’s all about pain management.
Where are you being tempted to wander off God’s path of doing life? God has probably already brought someone to goad you with His wise words of truth. Will you listen or ignore them? Will you obey or disobey? Make your choice now. Manage the pain wisely. Choose God’s way!
Dear God, help me with my pain management. And when I want to reject painful feelings and hide because it seems too hard, remind me that Your Word is there to protect and guide me. Amen.