A young couple I know has four amazing children, and I love seeing them bounce into church on Sunday mornings. The night before school this fall, young mom asked oldest son, Drew, to think about something he might say to his younger siblings the next day. She didn’t tell him what to say, and expected he would say things like, “Have a happy day,” or “Play nice.” Well, read this and be amazed at what came out of this boy’s mouth!
“Today is Drew’s first day of first grade. As we drove to school he took a few minutes to talk to each of his siblings:
‘Abigail, even though I’m going to school and you are staying at home for school (kindergarten), I’m real proud of you. You are a good girl and you are still my best friend. I love you so much. And you are a beautiful daughter of the King.
‘Simon, You are crazy. I’m praying that you will be a good boy today, that you will listen to mom and make good choices. I will play with you when I get home. I love you, buddy.
‘Essie, you are so silly and goofy. Don’t grow up too much today. I’m sorry I have to go to school and I will miss your birthday. I know you will be a good happy girl all day. You are a beautiful daughter of the King. I love you.’
As if that wasn’t enough . . .
‘Mom, I love you. You do so much for me. I’m real proud of you. I hope you have a good day. You are beautiful. Don’t be late picking me up.’
Yes, I cried.”
Wow! This articulate little boy – and so many like him – is our future! I anticipate that he and his family and friends will stand firm in the relationship they are building with Jesus! His will not be an easy world. We see more and more derision of those who are Christ-followers, don’t we? Many paint all of us with broad brush strokes because of the unwise and thoughtless – perhaps trite and downright stupid – words and acts of a few who identify themselves as Christians. Fortunately, it’s not up to me to decide whether they are or not. That’s God’s business.
It’s getting less and less popular to believe that the Bible is adequate to be our guide. Our culture sees it as outdated and jaded in its content. Folks like to pick out a phrase and use it as proof text that the whole of scripture has outlived its usefulness. But, my guess is that most will adhere to much of the Ten Commandments to largely shape their moral compass because they see the value of the relational “do-nots:”
- Do not murder.
- Do not commit adultery.
- Do not steal.
- Do not give false testimony.
- Do not covet – envy – what others have which you do not have.
Just about any crime against another falls under one of these categories..
There are five more Commandments, though.
- Have no other gods before Me – the Lord your God!
- Have no idols which you honor and worship instead of Me – the Lord your God!
- Do not misuse the name of God in any form – use it in a way which dishonors the Lord your God!.
- Take a Sabbath Day – a day of holy rest.
- Honor your parents.
Jesus summed up all ten of these in a succinct sentence: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) I believe that if the “Love your God” part is in place, the “love your neighbor” will also fall into place.
I have the privilege of seeing Drew and his brother and sisters grow up knowing and expressing the love of Jesus, and also have the privilege of praying that they and their peers will grow in their knowledge of Him, learning discernment as they face all sorts of opposition to their beliefs.
Oh yes, have you noticed that when folks are so vitriolic in their criticism of Christians’ intolerance that they are practicing the intolerance they are criticizing? Just a thought.