We are all children of God. From the moment of our birth, and some think before, we have been subjected to an environment that is sometimes hostile, sometimes kind. The poem below, by Dorothy Law Nolte sums up the effect sin can have on each child of God, from the tiniest infant to the most senior of adults.
Sometimes it is that dark inner critic that abuses us. Some people think that this dark inner critic is actually Satan at work, sabotaging our lives. Yet, often it is the people we look up to for encouragement that cause us the most pain. And sometimes we are each guilty of causing pain to others. No, the poem is not found in Holy Scripture, yet it rings true with a practical message.
CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.
With what is your child living?
As we clean our personal houses, and strive toward living a life to the glory of God, let us remember kindness and self-control. Have faith.