Genesis 49:15when he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land; he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor (NIV).

I was quietly nursing my coffee in a local restaurant but I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation at the next table.

“I was forced to get married,” said one fellow to his friend. “I got my girl friend pregnant and in those days, you had to get married.”

“Forced!” exclaimed his friend? “No! You weren’t forced! You were self-forced! You forced yourself to get married because of your actions.”

Whew. What a blow those words were to me. I ‘m always complaining about my weight, but I had just finished eating a ‘self-forced’ bagel with extra cream cheese.

Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t ‘self-forced’ themselves into things like a few extra pounds, speeding tickets, fear, quarrels, destroyed relationships, cluttered closets and lonely lives. Need I say more?

Where are our actions leading us today? Personally, I’m giving up on ‘self-force’ and starting over. I’ll start by making better choices and then taking responsibility for those choices.

Prayer: Lord, when we use our God-given free will incorrectly, help us be honest about both results and consequences. Thanks. Amen.

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