Don't you love how the Lord uses our kids to teach us things?!? It's not always easy when He points it out...but it is for our benefit for us to grow and become more mature. It's gentle...and gracious correction! He is always slow to anger, and rich in love! Just like we should correct, lead and guide our children!
I'd like to share with you something that the Lord highlighted to me last week. I haven't been able to get it off my mind. It's something that has come up several times in my own life over the last several days! So here's what happened at dinner last week.
Our family was sitting down for dinner after a very productive day working outside in the yard. We had all worked very hard and while tired...we all felt great because of all we had accomplished!
Our youngest son has some communication issues. He isn't always able to participate in our conversations. He listens...but doesn't always jump in an talk with us about what we are talking about. My husband and I felt we needed to praise him for what a great job he did and how hard he worked. So during our conversation, we started to brag on our youngest son. We said things like.. "Wow Shep! you worked so hard today! You did a terrific job!! We are so proud of you!!" Several other things like that....but he just beamed. He needed that encouragement!
No sooner than we had finished praising our youngest son...our older son said "wow...so I guess I didn't do a good job today??" In disbelief that his thoughts immediately went there...we first corrected him. We helped him see that Shep's compliment was not his criticism. Then we managed to encourage him as well...because obviously he was feeling insecure. He couldn't see that our younger son needed that!
Someone else's Compliment is Not My Criticism!!As I pondered that dinner conversation over the evening and next few days...the Lord began to show me how I have viewed others compliments, or others opportunities as criticism of me. Ouch! It's true...but I have to believe that we ALL do this!
How many times has another friend been complimented on how nice she looks, or how cute her outfit is, or how amazing her hair or make up looks, and you didn't get that compliment? Where did your mind go? Did you think... "wow...I guess I don't look that great today??" Did you immediately become insecure and feel criticized because someone else was complimented?
What about when someone else gets opportunities to do things that you'd like to do and are obviously capable and qualified to do? Do you immediately think because YOU were not given the opportunity that you are being told you're not good enough to do the task?? Just because someone else gets asked to do something does not mean that people think you're less qualified.
Romans 12:15 says:
As Christians....it seems easier for us to weep with those who weep. When someone is grieving or going through a hard time...comforting those who need it is a Godly, caring thing to do.
Why then, do we not look at being happy for those who are happy, (being happy for others when they're complimented or when they get opportunities we don't) as an equally Godly and caring thing to do? Don't you think it shows just as much maturity and empathy as sharing sorrow?
These are all thoughts that pricked my heart when I saw our child struggled with it himself...even on something as small as a compliment for working hard in the yard.
We ALL have opportunities every day to celebrate with those who celebrate and to be happy with those who are happy! Remember...their compliment is NOT your Criticism!! As always...this is just another bit of wisdom I'm learning...another "Pearl of Purpose" God begins to grow in my heart! I hope it challenges you in some way as it has me! Now go and make today a day you will look at others blessings differently!!!