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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm a student, they are the teacher?

The other day I decided to take my kids to the doughnut shop. This doughnut shop has been around seemingly forever and I was pretty sure from their sign out front that they were Christian owned. It was the first time I had ever been and the kids and I were excited about trying something new.
We walked in and sat our group down at a booth, had a quick review of the "rules" and then went and picked out our doughnuts. My children were very polite and well behaved (thank goodness!) and we sat down to enjoy our healthy breakfast of sugar sugar sugar. Luke and Emma were saying hello to everyone, and Lily was following suit. And then in walked a homeless lady.
My instinct was to tell my kids to be quiet and not to talk to her. I feared she might steal from us or something. But I bit my tongue, because I just felt a quiet whisper from the Lord to be still. And so, I watched as my children engaged this lady in a conversation all about why she walked with a limp, if she was hungry, how she definitely should have a doughnut. This lady lit up as my three kids talked to her like she was a human and just as special, loved by God and important as they were. In my stomach I felt sick because I knew how I had judged her the moment she had entered the shop but I still had reservations. The lady behind the counter then offered the homeless lady a box of day old doughnuts that were being sold for 6.95 for free. I was touched by the lady's generosity and though the homeless lady refused at first, between the owner and my children's prompting the lady finally took the doughnuts. As the lady left the store she said goodbye to our table. Luke and Emma said goodbye and told her to have a nice day. She seemed taken back like she hadn't heard anyone say that to her in a long time.
Wow.
The whole situation made me think. I teach my children daily that God loves everyone. That God made everyone. And I know theologically, that no matter how dirty we are if we turn to God, He embraces us dirt and all and then starts the cleaning. I know all this! Yet, when my kids treat everyone just the way I have been teaching them to, my own discomfort is the loudest voice I hear.
I am a closed minded person by all definition. I believe there is only one way to heaven. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe that abortion is wrong. And things that are contradictory to my belief system I count as wrong and opposing of God's word. But what my children have taught me is that those THINGS are opposing to God's word. Those LIFESTYLES are opposing to God's word. But those LIVES are not. And I realized that I have been viewing people who are caught up in those things and living those lifestyles as not worthy of the love that I have been teaching my kids about. How disgusting!
As Christians we are supposed to offer something different than the world. Those people who are in what I consider sin based on what the Bible teaches are not going to be led to the Lord by any definition by my judgment of them. I have always heard the saying, "Hate the sin not the sinner." Well, as Christian's I think we have started hating the sinner because of their sin. So wrong.
Today on Facebook a pro life group posted something on Obama's pro abortion health care plan. Which I agree that it is pro abortion and I, as in an earlier post pointed out, totally disagree with it. HOWEVER, the comments on the post were appalling! People were spewing hate and grossness about Obama and everything he stands for. What he stands for is despicable, I agree. But to hate him because he is obviously completely and totally lost? Aren't we missing the point? Aren't we totally forgetting about the passage in Matthew 5: 21-22"You're familiar with the command to the ancients, 'Do not murder.' I'm telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother 'idiot!' and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell 'stupid!' at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill." (The Message)
The Bible says that the greatest of all these is love - and yet, I know personally, have lost sight of it until recently. We can so easily get caught up in our political beliefs and OUR Biblical guidelines, but these people don't know Jesus - they don't know or find any value in Jesus and what He stands for. And if we continue speaking and treating them the way we are as a whole, they will NEVER find value in what we stand for - because from their view, and now I'm seeing it more clearly, is hate itself.
I want my children to know what Jesus says about sin. I want my children to know what is right and wrong as the Bible declares it to be. However, I want my children to never lose their genuine love for people - no matter who or what they are. That is real Christianity. And my children show people Jesus and His love in such a innocent and passionate way that all I can do is learn and hope and pray that I can see people with the same heart.

6 comments:

Candie Sharon

As Christ followers - we are always the student! And as teachers of Christ - we teach our children to believe as we do. Fortunately our children as innocents believe in the absolutes! When you teach then a rule to live by they have no expectations - they take it at face value. They do not hear your thoughts, they only see your actions and your reactions! Your reaction to them conversing with this lady was their open invitation! You didn't tell them NO - you let them discover an undercover angel!! Good Job, Mom!! I love you all! Aunt Candie

3boymomma

Beloved Sister in Christ! Wow! Great job articulating something that really needs to be said! Thank you so much for that very powerful reminder!

Tina

I am new to reading your blog but wanted to say that I am sad so many of our fellow Christ followers do this all the time and dont even realize they are sinning by doing it...Thank you for a wonderfuly writen post..I am guilty of this very thing...

Martha A.

Very good post!!

Donna Wood

It is an awesome thing when God speaks to us through our children! When our words, which were first God's, come out of our kids mouths at times when we failed to use them is so humbling. It's a confirmation that they are "getting it", though. Good job!!

Tina

I am new to reading your blog but wanted to say that I am sad so many of our fellow Christ followers do this all the time and dont even realize they are sinning by doing it...Thank you for a wonderfuly writen post..I am guilty of this very thing...

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