Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
sayings of counsel and knowledge,
to show you true and reliable words,
so that you may give accurate answers to those who sent you?
“Haven’t I told you?” Those are words that are probably familiar to every kid in the world. Or most of them anyway. How many times did you hear that or something similar to that when you were growing up? “Haven’t I told you not to play with the hose?” “Haven’t I told you not to play in the dirt when you just have socks on?” “Haven’t I told you not to leave the bathroom door open?”
And yet, we as kids would so often go back and do the same thing over and over again. Sometimes it was just flat out disobedience. Other times we would honestly forget. Sometimes we’d just get so caught up in the moment that we’re not thinking about what’s right and wrong, we’re just living. There are probably a thousand reasons why we forget. Whatever the reason, the point is – we forget.
As the wise old man is telling his son these things, I wonder if he is getting the impression that his son isn’t quite catching it. “I’ve been telling you all these wise sayings. I’ve been telling you all these things that will help you live rightly and still you go on making the same mistakes and the same bad decisions.”
It seems this wise old man knows pretty much exactly how humans are. Because even since our creation, we have been told and just haven’t been able to remember. At least we haven’t been able to remember to the point of actually doing something about it. Adam and Eve had been told not to eat the fruit from the tree, but they did it anyway. And everyone since, has been told to do or not to do something. And we all do it anyway.
We’ve been told. Over the past 247 days, we’ve been told so much about how to live and act, about how to treat people and how to handle money. And, just like you, I’ve forgotten most of it. If I go back, I can remember writing it. But, that doesn’t mean I do it or live it.
Can you imagine though, if we all stopped for a moment each day and tried to remember what we learned yesterday? What if we stopped for just a minute to remember what we were told yesterday about how we should live?
And what if we lived our lives today according to what we had been told yesterday? How much better off would we be tomorrow?