Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't Act Like That!

Don't act like that! 

These are the words I say to my children every day. Every. Single. Day. 

Of course, what never gets old is having my children stare at me blankly and ask why their behavior is inappropriate. 

Do you really have to ask? They do, apparently. This is where my answers vary, depending on the situation or the place. 

Don't act like that because it's wrong.
This is the primary reason, as my children get a steady diet of what we believe God teaches to be right behavior (attached to a right heart, of course) and the streaming pile of intolerable actions that come from their sinful black hearts. (Pardon my dark ages piety coming out right there.)

Don't act like that because someone is going to get hurt.
This is also a staple around my house, as someone is always seeming to get hurt. Them, me, innocent bystanders. 

Don't act like that because it's embarrassing. 
It might not be embarrassing to them....yet, though it should be. It will be when I produce photo and video evidence later in their teen years. (Yeah, our kids just liked to dance naked all the time.)
Even if it doesn't, or won't embarrass them, it probably does me.
  • Chasing your sister with a bat around the yard does not endear us to neighbors.
  • Sliding along the freshly mopped aisles of the grocery store does not endear us to the workers.  
  • Asking questions about bathroom-related events does not endear us to...well....anybody.
If you think that reminders to not act like that are done once we pass on to adulthood, then I have some news for you. Ummm....It doesn't!

Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,    O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated,    O God of Israel. ~Psalm 69:6

Let's be real for a moment. We in the Christian community can't seem to go more than a week without seeing some story that makes all of us look foolish. For those on any social network on the internet, it's probably more like every hour. 

But it happens in our local communities. It happens in our churches. Go ahead, just ask your pastor if every person in their church is acting in a way that makes them want to put their picture up on a billboard, alerting everyone around to that person being connected with the rest of us

Now ask yourself if you are acting in a way that could be causing embarrassment. If there's a chance you're not as holy as you thought yourself to be, you might want to pray David's prayer in Psalm 69. Seriously God, don't let me do something so awesomely big and wrong as to cause others to ashamed of me, my church or of you, my God!

If only all believers would pray that every day before leaving the house. 

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