attitude helpful to children
By Jim Killebrew
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[January 24, 2014]
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such
things there is no law." —
Of course these are the fruits that are produced by the Holy Spirit
as He guides a person who is committed to following Jesus. I wonder,
however, if we should look closely at these attributes and try to
teach our children these things from the earliest age.
attributes not being taught to children because we as parents and
grandparents do not exhibit them ourselves? Can we expect children
to learn these things without our guidance?
Does our home and family life exist as an environment without love,
a place of negative talk with condemning neighbors, friends and
other family members for the wrong things we see in them? Do we
ourselves see things that are not going right, things that are out
of place, messed up or dirty?
Is our home a battleground of fighting, misbehaving, slinging mud
at each other, anger or rage where we talk about getting even with
someone who has done us a wrong? Are we looking for revenge for
every ruffled feather? Do we plot to make sure that someone we don't
like will befall some calamity that will cause them embarrassment or
harm? Do we have to constantly look over our shoulder to be on the
lookout for someone whom we think might ambush us because of a
skirmish in which we have been involved?
Do we have a short fuse that causes us to explode all over a
person who says or does the "wrong" thing? Do we emulate the cartoon
figure who laments, "I have one more nerve, and you are about to
step on it?" Are we immediately upset because our child or someone
else has spilled milk, made a mess, left the bed unmade or failed to
complete a chore? Do we spit out words of disgust or profanity when
we are interrupted from something requiring our attention?
Do we belittle others and repay good deeds with harsh words? Do
we make fun of others and seek to embarrass them publicly "just to
teach them a lesson"? Do we turn away from those who are in need of
our help by being unsympathetic and less compassionate? Do our
actions demonstrate an obvious lack of consideration and caring to
others in our family or circle of friends?
Have we blotted out that part of ourselves that sees the good in
others? Have we bathed ourselves in our own selfishness to the point
that our usefulness to others has diminished? Is that quality part
of our character missing as we engage in tearing others down just to
try to build ourselves up?
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Have we become so unreliable that we have lost our credibility in
following through with promises we have made? Do others just take it
for granted we will not deliver when the going gets rough? Have we
used up all of our strength and lost our will to continue long
before the task is completed? Are we the first to leave when the
heavy obligation is taken up by the strength of others?
Has a harshness of character become the primary attribute that
others first think about when our name is mentioned? Are we the
first to condemn a bruised, hurting soul with gruff exhortation to
stand up and endure the weight of a situation by their own power? Do
we become annoyed easily when others approach us with some request?
Finally, have we fallen into a habit of responding immediately to
some perceived infraction from others by using anger or rage as a
means of control? Are we unable to hold our words aimed at others
that are intended to "break their bones" with force and hatred? Have
we sunk into a dismal practice of tearing up things around us
physically and figuratively?
If any of the questions about the attributes mentioned above can
be answered in the affirmative, there is a tremendous need for the
Spirit of Christ to indwell our soul. "But the fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law." —
Are these the attributes we want our children to
live by, or those things that oppose these attributes? As parents
and grandparents it is our responsibility to decide and act.
[By JIM KILLEBREW]
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