Sunday Scriptures — I Wish You Would

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

My first years of teaching were at an inner-city school in Orlando, Florida. I loved my kids and their parents dearly, but just like any school there were some challenges. One of those challenges was discipline.

During the time I taught at this school I learned a lot from one of our aides. When the students bordered on unruly or disrespectful she got right in their face and said, “I wish you would.”

Although the students understood exactly what was implied, it took me a few times of hearing her say those words and noticing the students’ reaction, before I understood what she really said. Go ahead. Misbehave. I dare you. I can’t wait to show you who’s boss.

This women was a force to be reckoned with and I was most appreciative she and I were on the same side.

Most of my kids called her Auntie. Some actually were related to her. Others knew her from church. Either way, they understood if they didn’t shape up she would follow through on her “I wish you would”, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

In truth, I never saw this wonderful woman ever follow through. There was no need. The look in her eyes and tone of her voice was all that was it took to get the desired response.

And in case you are wondering … nope. I never tried this on anyone. I knew it wouldn’t work coming from me.

Throughout time God used people to get his message across … shape up or else. Or, as I like to think of it, I wish you would. 

God is patient. He doesn’t want any to be lost. He sent his son, Jesus, into this world to take on our sins and pay the price for the debt we owed but could never pay.

Just like Auntie, God doesn’t want to punish us. I believe God’s I wish you would is a plea for us to repent and turn to him, get our act together, shape up, and follow the path he’s set before us.

If we don’t, then he will punish. And it won’t be pretty.

The choice is ours to make.

Have you ever heard anyone use, “I wish you would”, the way Auntie did? What do you say to get your message of correction across?

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“Time after time I sent you prophets, who told you, ‘Turn from your wicked ways, and start doing things right. Stop worshiping other gods so that you might live in peace here in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.’ But you would not listen to me or obey me.…”

‘Therefore, this is what the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Because you refuse to listen or answer when I call, I will send upon Judah and Jerusalem all the disasters I have threatened.”‘” Jeremiah 35:15, 17 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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