It was a quiet afternoon and Stella Peterson was in her bedroom or at least that is where her Dad thought she was. After the events that had transpired the previous week. Stella had been grounded for a week with only bread and water to live on. Not only was she grounded to her room but she wasn't allowed the use of any thing that required electricity.
About 3:00 Bill thought he would go lay down and take a nap but instead, he found himself answering the phone. To Bill's surprise, it was Sergeant Halfway on the phone wanting to know if he would come down to the station, he had one of his kids locked up in jail. “So,” Bill thought, to himself as he grabbed his coat and keys, “Harold's in trouble again.”
When Bill arrived at the police station, he went and found Sergeant Halfway. “Okay,” Bill said, “What do you have Harold locked up for this time?” “Harold?” Sergeant Halfway puzzled, “Who said anything about Harold? Stella's the one I have locked up this time.” “That's impossible.” Bill said, “Stella's at home in her room.”
“She's in her room?” Sergeant Halfway questioned, “Are you 100% sure?” “Of course, I am.” Bill told the sergeant, “I grounded her my self.” “Grounded her?” Sergeant Halfway questioned, “I thought Harold was the one that always got into trouble?” “Normally, he is.” Bill said in agreement, “But ever since Christmas, he's been being good and keeping his room spotless.”
“Carry on.” Halfway nodded and grabbed a note pad. “And ever since Christmas Stella has been terrible and the other day she went too far. Instead of cleaning her room like she was told, she sneaked into Harold's room while he was gone and totally trashed it out. That's why she's grounded to her room so she couldn't be in your jail cell.”
“Well, then.” The sergeant said after jotting down some notes, “Why don't you take a peak around the corner at the holding cell and tell me that the girl in there is not your Stella.” “How can that be?” Bill said as he turned back from looking at the cell. “She's suppose to be in her room.” “She was caught trying to throw a brick through a church window.”
“Why would she do a thing like that?' Bill asked, “What's gotten in to her?” “I have a suspicion.” Sergeant Halfway started to answer, “That she was trying to frame Harold. As I recall, he broke a window there once before and after that skunk incident last Thanksgiving....” Bill interrupted, “The town would turn on him in a flash and she would be back in the spotlight as miss perfect.”
“If you'll sign a couple papers.” Sergeant halfway said as he pushed some forms over to Bill, “I'll let you take her home.” “What if I don't want to take her home?” Bill asked, “What if I want her to stay in the cell over night to see if she'll learn a lesson?” “I think we can manage that.” Halfway said with a smile, “And I'll see to it that she only gets bread and water.”
Change – It's not always easy to accept and sometimes, we would rather go after the one who reminds us that we need to change Like Stella. Stella really was as perfect as she thought but when she compared herself to her brother she looked great. Now that her brother had cleaned up his act, she didn't look so good but instead of changing, she went after the one who reminded her just how bad she was. Are you like Stella? The Bible has many stories of people going after the reminder instead of making change.
- Jehoiakim and Jeremiah - Jeremiah 36:1-3,21-26 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin." … Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary. And Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. It was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house, and there was a fire burning in the fire pot before him. As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot. Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments. Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king's son and Seraiah the son of Azriel and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet, but the LORD hid them. (ESV)
- Asa and Hanani - 2 Chronicles 16:7-10 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, "Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars." Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time. (ESV)
- Ahab and Micaiah - 2 Chronicles 18:25-26 And the king of Israel said, "Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son, and say, 'Thus says the king, Put this fellow in prison and feed him with meager rations of bread and water until I return in peace.' " (ESV)
When It comes to change, repentance, which means to change, is found many time in scripture. Here are some verse related to change.
- Acts 17:30 - The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, (ESV)
- Ezekiel 18:31 - Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? (ESV)
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 - if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (ESV)
- Ezekiel 18:21 - "But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. (ESV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- When confronted with the need to change, do you turn on the messenger or yourself?
- Do you ever try to look good by making others look bad?