“Children aren’t born kind, you have to teach them.” – Holy Spirit
A few months ago, my daughters and I were invited to the skating rink. My family is new to the area and have been blessed to gel with a few people quickly, who also have children. My daughter is very discrete and conservative, and on the inside she can be very sensitive and territorial. (As I write this I’m hearing my toes crunch.) One of the children we met when we moved here befriended her immediately. They are very compatible, have the same hobbies, and can go all day playing together. Well this friend was at the skating rink along with her “other” friends. When we arrived, she quickly waved at my daughter and kept mingling with her friends. My daughter was feeling “some type of way.” She immediately said, “Mom, she has other friends and now I’m alone.” This was the brink of melt down #1.
Next, my daughter proceeded to the skating floor but fell countless times. She was already embarrassed because she felt alone, and now she’s flopping like a fish. I felt for her as she looked up to me with her big brown eyes and said “Mommy, can I just go play at the arcade?” Normally I wouldn’t have let her give up so easily, but this night was tough on her. Her friend was with her “other friends” and she kept falling all over the floor. So I agreed to let her go.
Side note: God is also loving, just like this. Often times we feel like we are being hit from every angle, but he knows when enough is enough and he comes to our rescue.
At the arcade I told her she only had $5 to spend. Unfortunately these $5 only accrued about 25 tickets for the redeeming station. Her smile rose a tad and I could see the night was starting to get better, until her friend hit the arcade’s JACKPOT, collecting more than 1,000 tickets. It was an insane moment. Buzzers were going off, lights were flashing, people were screaming and laughing, kids were excited, camera phones were everywhere and my daughter’s eyes grew watery. Her cheeks went red in frustration and her poor little shoulders sunk. She was devastated. As a parent, I wanted to rush her home immediately and console her, but the Holy Spirit said differently. In that moment, I had to make a decision. This was a prime moment in my child’s life to teach her what kindness is all about and how to recognize and rebuke envy. I pulled her to the corner as she cried and cried and I said gently, “This is the moment where we are going to learn how to be kind and happy for our friends.” She looked at me as if I had two heads. But I kept hearing the Holy Spirit say to me, “Children aren’t born kind, you have to teach them.” This was more challenging for me than it was for her. My flesh did not want to nudge her towards the joyful crowd to “pretend” to be happy, but I’ve learned that kindness is a learned behavior. The more we practice it, the easier it is to do. As an adult, I see down the road the many disappointments life will bring her and temptations with envy because I have lived those moments. I want her to learn to be supportive of her friend’s accomplishments. Philippians 2:3 is a hard lesson, but we find favor when we are obedient. It states, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV)
What’s the point: It’s not always easy to press through character flaws to correct them, especially when we are having a bad day. But character is groomed from those harsh moments when you have to make a quick decision to be Christ-like or not. We were born sinful, therefore it is a daily fight for us to learn how to be loving, kind, good, patient, and forgiving to our neighbors.
Thank You for loving us with all of our imperfections. We battle daily with character flaws and at times we do not choose to face them by being obedient to your guidance. Lord, in those moments, we pray that Your Holy Spirit convicts us immediately to turn away from wicked attitudes, thoughts, and desires. May You give us the strength to deny ourselves so that we may be a reflection of You, not just through speech, but through our daily actions. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to confront your weaknesses with the power of God. Proverbs 14:30 NIV says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones.” So what, 2014 didn’t bring the husband, the ring, the house, the car, or that baby, and gave those things to your friend instead. I EMPOWER you to rejoice for those who rejoice. The Father in heaven will see your humble heart and exalt you.
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator . She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion for servant-hood is implemented through serving her community with Girl Scouts and her sorority, mentoring young women, and marriage empowerment. She resides in Daphne, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. Currently, they are seeking a church home in their new city.