Monday, 19 August 2013

Keep no record of wrong

 Photo by Focus on the Family

After dinner table talk turned to people the kids find difficult to get along with. I could sense the conversation quickly deteriorating into a hate session so tried to hijack/steer it back in a positive direction. 

To avoid an all out gossip session, thought we could turn it to finding the good in the bad. I challenged the kids to find something good in the person they were struggling with. Someone @ work, someone in their class, school teachers. 

It's easy to find things we don't like. Not always so easy to find the good. But it's really, really helpful to train our brains to look for the good while we are young, so it becomes second nature. Unfortunately I think our hearts are more often naturally bent on complaining & finding the bad than gratitude & goodness. 

Bending it back the other way can be painful but needful! 

It takes a bigger person to not fixate on the bad. To not keep a record of wrongs. It takes grace {not feelings & sometimes pure grit} to forgive those who have wronged us. 

We also debated about 'judging' someone. What does that mean? We all need to make 'assessments' of people. How do we judge without condemning? Yes we all make conscious and unconscious judgements about each other, but when that becomes negative is that unhealthy, nonconstructive judgements? 

We want out children/teens to have good judgements, read people well, give people the benefit of the doubt, to be a good judge of character, to be discerning so they don't get sucked in, taken advantage of, bullied or harassed. It's sometimes tough to find the balance! 

Cherishing the times we have to sow seeds of compassion and grace into our teens hearts. We can't ignore the fact they will have people in their lives they don't particularly like or get along with, nor hope against all hope they won't just succumb to negative attitudes cause it's easier. Rather try to give them strategies to more than just cope, to aim towards thinking & speaking positively of others in spite of personality clashes or frustrations.  

So for family prayers I suggested we pray for those we struggle with. To pray a blessing on them. It wasn't easy. Even for me. But I felt it was a positive way to end what could have been unfiltered negativity. 

One of my teens prayed - "Lord help me to love those I hate"!  

Refreshingly raw & honest. Love it. Powerful. Change always starts with a willingness to do so! 

The above photo caught my eye on Focus on the Family facebook page after our table talk conversation, it came with a reminder to pray for our own children; 

"......that they would have the grace to forgive those who hurt them instead of keeping a record of wrongs.".

This has got to be be better than back stabbing & carrying bitterness, hatred & negative thoughts towards others. I think maybe it's not just for our children or teens, but for all of us......

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