By Roxanne Drury
As a preschool teacher, I always felt it was important to share how a child’s day was with their parents. I also liked to capture things the children said. I would ask the children a leading question and then jot down their answers; and at the end of the year, I would provide the parents with what I called a Dictation Book.
After one particularly bad behavior day – lots of tattling and bickering going on because that’s what 4- and 5-year-olds do, right? – I thought we needed to take a breather so I had everyone sit criss-cross on the floor. I turned out the lights and we sat in silence for about 3 minutes. To them, that was an eternity, and by the end of the 3 minutes, someone started giggling and of course it had a ripple effect. Once the hilarity died down we were ready to have a talk, and I asked a leading question.
“Okay,” I said, “we have had a hard time getting along today. Really, guys, how should we be?”
That’s all I said. Micah’s hand shot up and he said, “I should be good and loving.”
Brayden chimed in. “I should be nice.”
Laura was more specific. “I should be nice to people.”
Andrew piped up. “I should be a sharer.”
And so it went. I should be: a listener of God, noble, kind and not listen to the devil, be myself and be good to God’s creatures, good to my friends, kind, forgiving, and on and on. These kids had it right. They just forgot for a moment. They were all caught up in doing what preschoolers do and they forgot how they should be.
As adults, sometimes we forget how we should be. We get all caught up in the excitement of a kid’s baseball game and we forget. We get caught up in a heated political discussion and we forget. We get caught in the middle of a neighborhood dispute and we forget. When we feel ourselves being some way other than how we should be, it is time to stop and take a breather.
Looking at how God is – His character – serves as a reminder and gives us a plumb line to hold ourselves up against. We are filled with God’s love – not dotted, not sprinkled, but filled. It should ooze out of us like the jelly when you bite into a jelly-filled donut.
“…for we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” – Romans 5:5
God is good. Even Jesus proclaimed God as good. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.” – Mark 10:18
Being good isn’t just about being obedient; it isn’t just for children. Oh, no! Being good can mean so much more: being honest, virtuous and noble, and having integrity.
The Bible is very clear about how we should be. “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” – Luke 6:27-31
Kids sometimes forget how they should be. Adults also sometimes forget how they should be. It is just a fact. I think God’s expectation of us is that we always aim to be the best person we can be. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Finally, brothers, farewell. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” – 2 Corinthians 13:11
And Mark instructs, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Mark 5:48
Perfection is a pretty high bar. We won’t truly be perfect until we get to heaven, but we can aim for it now. Aim to be more Christ-like. Look inside yourself and see what area God might like to see you work on. I know what area He has pointed out to me.
As you peer deep inside, go into it with an open heart and mind and a can-do attitude, claiming the verse: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
Let’s take it from the mouths of the babes and be how we should be. How much more beautiful our homes, our blocks, our towns, our cities, the world would be if everyone was how they should be.
It could happen. But it has to start somewhere – let it be with me! I invite you to join me.
Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired Christian preschool teacher with a teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education. She has served the Lord in children’s ministry for over 40 years and is currently on staff at Rockharbor Church.