I was helping a little boy not long ago who was having some trouble following the rules in his class. Let’s just say his transition to the ‘big boy’ class wasn’t going very smoothly and there was talk of sending him back to the younger class. So, I came to watch and see if there was anything I could do to help the situation. As I observed him play around the classroom I heard him be told over and over, ‘no’. Don’t stand in the chair. Don’t yell. You are playing too rough with the cars. Don’t color on the table. Stop running around. I thought to myself, what if we stopped saying ‘no’ and we started saying ‘yes’? What if instead of telling him all the things he couldn’t do, we started telling him all the things he could do? So, I gave it a try. Let’s sit in the chair to watch the story. I love when you use your quiet voice. Let’s line the cars up and have a race. Watch how I color on the paper with all the different crayons, isn’t that pretty? You try it. Let’ walk over here to find something fun to do. Once we all started using positive words of direction, he started to change. Not only was he listening more but he was happier, and next Sunday when I saw him he came up and gave me a high five as a hello. We changed our words and his perspective changed.
If we’re not careful, being a Christian can feel like that, too. It would be pretty easy to read the Bible and see all the rules and all the things we are not supposed to do and feel defeated. There is a pattern to life that God wants us to follow because He wants us to live the best life. In Proverbs 15 the writer makes the case for both sides of the coin, “A gentle answer deflects anger, harsh words make tempers flare.” “Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.” “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” It goes on and with wise tidbits of treasure. Something I find helpful with scripture written this way is to make a list of all the things I’m supposed to do. This helps me recognize the rules of engagement. These are the actions and attitudes that will bring benefit, success, and happiness to my life. Give it a try and see if it doesn’t change your perspective, your view of God, and hopefully your relationship with Him.
Family Life Director