We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


The Work Should Be Done!

A mother once wrote to me and shared the following:

“I had to run to the store, so I told my 11-year old son to make sure he stayed focused on his math. As I was leaving the house, I shouted out a follow-up and said, ‘The work should be done by the time I get back.’ Apparently my tone and body language threatened him with negative consequences if it was not done. When I returned, I found a totally stressed out, sobbing child. In my wisdom I immediately thought, ‘He’s been goofing off and he’s trying to play me to get me to help him.’

After I reviewed the reality of higher math with him, explained that it gets harder, told him things wouldn’t always be easy for him, and so forth, my son looked at me and said, “Mom, I’m not afraid of the math. I was afraid of getting into trouble with you. The only thing that was going through my head was that it needed to be done before you got back.” Then it dawned on me; my son is a pleaser and all he wants to do is please me. How could I be so blind? I totally stressed him out! We talked; I asked for forgiveness and we hugged.”

Recently, I heard a practical thought that can help us overcome our tendency to overreact and govern others with power and pride. “Suspend judgment and be kind.” Lately, I have been saying this to myself over and over again-“Suspend judgment and be kind.” I think this is what Paul was communicating in Ephesians 4 when he wrote:

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Questions? Comments? Join the discussion on Facebook today!

Recommended Reading:

The Education of a Child by Fenelon (Every parent should read The Education of a Child. I found this 17th century wisdom on parenting to be the best I have ever read.

Let Go & The Dialogues of Fenelon (If you are looking for something that will take you deeper in your walk with Christ, these two devotional books from the 17th century are among my prized possessions.)

Challenge at Runaway Brook – for children ages 6 to 10, this is a great book that deals with almost every family conflict and their resolve. Sibling rivalry? If so, this is a great book for the whole family.

Jack the Conqueror – The title says it all…it is also Lamplighter’s book of the year!

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