I hope this past month has been AMAZING for everybody. It has been a month of learning things on a deeper level for me. I have been working as a substitute teacher full time, and this has opened my eyes to some facets of human nature. One particularly sad observation I have had is that, by and large, we “grown ups” do not know how to look silly. The differences between my Pre-K students and my 8th grade students are not as many as you might expect. Both age groups stuggle with getting offended, getting distracted, and pride. Teeny-tiny 4 year olds however, know nothing of being self-conscious. They lift their hands and sing loudly, they cry at anything, they tell me they love me after knowing me a day, they boldly ask to hold my hand, and do not care when they spill chocolate milk down their front. They live so freely. They do not even know that there a people who might think they look silly. The word image or reputation literally means nothing to them. Having a lack of self-consiousness is a rather valuable life skill to have, especially for a Christian.
We are to be known by our love, and filled to the brim with joy! Sometimes, though, we are better known for our stress and insincerity. This conundrum, I believe, is because we are self-focused Christians. A paradox if there ever was one. When we focus on ourselves, rather than Christ, we tend to live in fear and doubt. Not just worrying what people will think, like the rest of the world, but constantly doubting we made the right decision in the eyes of God. Having the fear of God while attempting to please Him with your own wisdom is a disaster of enormous proportions. It is impossible to revel in the freedom the Christ purchased with His life when you are looking to your self for answers, morality, and guidance. We are only able to live fully, largely, and joyously when we put our eyes on the reason for our hope and living. If we are relying on His Spirit to guide us, we do not have any spare time or thoughts to wonder if we are living in a way that is considered cool or that is approved by our many acquaintances, and our fears of displeasing Him are indeed greatly irradicated. I cannot begin to pretend that I am anywhere near where I need to be in this aspect of my life, but it is so precious for me to be able to see God educating and washing my heart in this area. I hope this encourages you too!
lots of love,