Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Lessons I Learn From My Kids' Lessons


Every week my kids come home with a "parent cue" card for discussion starters and activities to help reinforce the things they are learning in their classes at Journey.

This month they have been focusing on FRIENDSHIP.

Specifically this week is about serving.  And one way to serve is by encouraging.

So, like always, we asked their meal time question during our family breakfast time before school on Monday.

"Encouragement can be cheering on someone who is doing well, or cheering up someone who's going through a hard time.  Which one do you think is easier to do, and why?"

Simple enough.

When it was my turn I easily knew what comes most naturally for me.  It's easier for me to cheer someone up who is going through a hard time.

I wouldn't have normally even thought about it, until I was asked the "why" behind it.
The heart behind it.

I began using the example (real-life examples have an uncomfortable way of exposing heart issues in my own heart kids) of a little girl (who will go unnamed), who was dressed exceptionally cute (ie-matching colors and patterns) and was being praised for such a well-put-together outfit (which happens to not be a forte of hers).  Then another little girl (who will also go unnamed), begins pointing out all the things about herself that are going unnoticed.

Her "why" was jealousy.  She wanted everyone to see how pretty SHE was.  How lovely HER clothes were.

Then all of a sudden my own personal "why" was sitting there staring me in the face!

JEALOUSY!  PRIDE!

The times that it is hard for me to encourage others is when they are doing something well that I am personally good at.  Something that I may have given them the idea to do.  Something that I typically excel in.  Something that I have gone through.

I want the praise.  I want the pat on the back.  I want the recognition.  I want some credit.

But, according to the Bible, this is not the definition of a friend.

"A friend loves at all times.  He is there to help when trouble comes."
Proverbs 17:17

Yup, it looks like my kids definitely have some things to work on in this area;)

"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?
Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."
Galatians 1:10
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