Friday, April 20, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Hospital Codes and God's Grace

Reason Together with God
A devotional by Shellie Arnold

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land." ~Isaiah 1:18-19 ESV

I once worked in a hospital as an admissions clerk. As part of the job, I was responsible for inputting all pertinent patient information, especially regarding insurance coverage. This information had to be documented on the appropriate computer screens—sometimes several of them—via the appropriate codes. The information had to be complete and correct. After all, timely billing depended on accuracy. Those screens directly affected how the hospital got paid.

Six months into the job, I learned that on that particular payday, I would not be picking up my check from the payroll clerk, as usual. Rather, my paycheck was held by my supervisor. Twice a year, I was required to meet with my supervisor and get my paycheck directly from her. What I did not expect, was sitting with my supervisor and being shown every error I had made on any patient information screen for the previous six months. Literally, someone had been assigned to go behind every admissions clerk (not just me) and audit their work. The errors were printed, and the corresponding stack of errors was given to each employee, along with our checks.

My stack of printed errors was huge. So huge, I was put on probation. I was at risk of losing my job.

Understand, I had pages of notes from when I was trained. Every day, I carried with me a full notebook of memos containing policy and procedure changes. And I consulted them throughout my work shift. Still, my number of mistakes was very high.

As I looked through the printouts, I realized I hadn’t made dozens of different mistakes. Rather, I’d made a few, same mistakes dozens of times. I was consistent. Consistently wrong, but still.

I shared this with my supervisor. “You can see I was consistent, which meant I thought I was doing it right. Why didn’t anyone tell me before now, instead of letting me do these things wrong for six months?”

She had no answer other than to quote the departmental policy, which in my opinion was flawed. Why set up your employees to fail?

I am so glad and thankful God doesn’t treat us this way. When I discovered Isaiah 1:18-19, I understood I was never at risk of having the same dynamic in my relationship with God. He doesn’t keep a running list of mistakes, simply so He can surprise us with them later. He doesn’t keep a tally to make us feel guilty and afraid.

Instead, He invites us to talk with Him about everything, even our sin. Scripture encourages us to “reason together” with Him. When we approach Him with a willingness to be obedient in the future, God will talk with us about our failings and mistakes. He wants to help us understand why we do the things we do, say the things we say, and think the things we think, even if those things aren’t necessarily pleasing to Him.

He doesn’t leave us alone to figure out how to live righteously. No, He’s always there, waiting to converse with us. Explain things to us. Share truth with us. Teach us. So that next time, with our better understanding, we might make better choices and suffer fewer consequences.

Don’t hide your failures and sin from God. Talk to Him about them. Ask Him why you did what you did. Ask Him how you can behave differently next time. God wants you to be successful in your spiritual journey. He’s not setting you up to fail. He’s in your corner. And He’s ready to listen and talk.

Author Bio:
Shellie Arnold is a writer and speaker on marriage and family. She truly believes—despite baggage, neglect, or mistakes—if a husband and wife listen to God, they can live happily ever after. Her passion is sharing how God is helping her do exactly that. 

She maintains a blog at and is the founder of YOUR MARRIAGE resources.

Shellie is a mother of three and has home-schooled for over twenty years. She lives in Ohio with her husband of thirty-one years.

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1 comment:

  1. I am thankful God doesn't leave us alone to figure things out. He is always with us. Thank you for sharing your story.


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