More From Bob LaForge

January 18, 2022 by Bob LaForge (New Jersey, USA)
Bob and his family, Christmas 2020. From left:
Toni, Bob, Danielle, and Sarah

It is hard to obey God’s commandments. Many of them are difficult, but some feel nearly impossible. For example, I often struggle with God’s command to forgive. I usually want to do it my own way. Before I forgive, I want to be mad. I want the other person to know that they hurt me. I want them to regret what they did, and I want them to feel at least twice as hurt as I was. After all of this, and once I have made sure that they won’t do it again, I will forgive them. That seems reasonable, but it is not God’s way. God forgives. And God’s way of forgiveness is repeatedly made clear in scripture: They sin against me; I forgive them. Notice that there are no other steps in between those two statements.

When I push against doing it God’s way, I try to justify why my way is better: “They need to learn a lesson, God!” But when I forgive God’s way, I feel better. I have a clearer conscience. I feel freer. I believe that is the blessing that God promises to those who obey and the grace that abundantly flows from obedience to God. Sin often gives me momentary satisfaction. But when I resist the temptation, the satisfaction of obedience goes much deeper and lasts so much longer.

I once made a cake for my father. I followed the recipe exactly, and he really liked it. So for his birthday the following year, I decided to make the cake again. But this time, I would make it better. If a half of a cup of hazelnuts was good, then one cup would be better. I also doubled the amount of chocolate. After all, what is not made better with twice as much chocolate? The cake was a disaster. My father told me that it was too crunchy (too many hazelnuts), and the chocolate drowned out all of the other flavors. The next time I made that cake, I followed the recipe exactly.

God’s commandments are time tested. They worked the first time someone followed them, and they have worked the billions of times they have been obeyed since then. Why do we think that we know better than God? We often feel that we have to change God’s way somehow: remove some things here or add in our own steps there. Yet, in the end, nothing works better than doing it just as God tells us. When we read God’s commands and obey them exactly, our lives will be so much better.

If you have the time, please check out my website at It has a section on Bible Literacy, which can help establish a solid Biblical foundation in your life. It currently has 82 lessons. You can also find almost 300 devotions there, several of which were published in The Upper Room. Under the “Bible Study Series” section, you can find topics that I have taught in adult Sunday school for many years. Some of the topics are, “Who is God and Why does it Matter to Us,” “Spiritual Gifts,” “How to Get the Most Out of Studying the Bible,” “End Times and the Bible,” and “Imitating Jesus.” You can also read/download for free three books I have written. I hope that you find the website to be glorifying to God.

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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