Doug Creamer: Life Lessons
We have a children’s church program at our church. First everyone joins together for a time of worship. After worship, the children are released for children’s church. We take the children to their own room and provide them with a lesson that is on their level. Once a month, I am lucky enough to teach the children.
Typically, I download the lesson on Friday night and read over the material. On Saturday I will study the lesson and figure out some ways to get the point across to the younger kids. Often the lesson is a very familiar Bible story that I will tell to the kids in a very animated way. The material will provide a focus for the lesson and ways to approach the lesson that will help the kids connect with the material.
Last Friday, I followed my routine and downloaded my lesson. I noticed that this lesson was not a familiar Bible story but rather a topical lesson with scriptures to support the focus. When I read through the lesson I was disheartened. I was asked as an adult to teach the kids a lesson that I struggle to live out in my own personal life.
I tried to figure out how I could teach the lesson. I decided that using humor would be the best approach. I gave the students some real life examples that illustrated the point which they all related to very easily. Then I gave them an outrageous over-the-top response to the situation. They laughed at me. Then they offered some of their own examples and we all laughed.
They listened as I read and discussed how Jesus expected us to act in those situations. That’s when I looked the kids in the eye and admitted as an adult that sometimes I failed at this lesson. Thankfully, the kids responded that they too had failed this lesson. None of us had acted in an over-the-top way like my examples, but we had not acted as Jesus taught us.
Then we discussed some practical ways we could act the next time we face those situations. We all admitted it would not be easy, but we wanted to live like Jesus. If Jesus could do it, then by His grace it was possible for us to do it, too. Ironically, while playing a game right after the lesson a situation arose where this lesson could be applied.
Living like Jesus in some areas of my life is obtainable, but there are many areas that I seem to fall hopelessly short of what He desires and expects of me. The Bible clearly lays out what is expected for Christian living…a set of standards and guidelines that seem impossible to reach. I find that when I apply myself to one area in life to improve then another area seems to fall apart. Then when I fix that area, the first one is running loose again.
When I am working so hard to fix my life I lose sight of two very important things. The first is a pair of friends called grace and mercy. I have to repent and call upon the mercy of God and seek His forgiveness when I fall short of His standards. I also have to realize that God has given me the grace, which is the power, to live differently. I have to allow God’s grace to work in me to change me into the man of God that I am called to be.
Secondly, God is interested in having a relationship with each one of us. He wants us to come to Him, talk with Him, and invite Him into our daily life. He wants to interact with us and allow His goodness to rub off on us. We are His sons and daughters, whom He loves far beyond words. He wants to connect with us and mold and shape us into the image of His Son. He knows we aren’t perfect, that’s why we need His grace and mercy.
Life is full of lots of lessons but I want to encourage you to allow God to teach you and lead you through each one. When we fail, He provides an open door of access to Himself if we are willing to repent. It’s humbling to admit we don’t have it all figured out, but the truth will set us free to keep our relationship with God strong. We can draw from God the strength we need to live better lives that will bring Him glory. There are lots of lessons in life; thankfully, God allows us to take tests over and over until we pass.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org