Do you remember seeing this poster several years ago? Maybe it loomed over you in your classroom, or perhaps your mother posted it prominently in your bedroom.
Mine hung in my fifth grade classroom just to remind my gaggle of forgetful ten-year-olds of the things they were supposed to already know. You know, things like:
- Share your stuff
- Don’t hit
- Hold hands
- Stick together
- Clean up your mess
- Say you’re sorry
And my favorite one of all,
- Take a nap
Today, I have the privilege of spending time with our first through fifth grade kids at church. Every week they’re reminded of four core values that all of us grownup kids can benefit from too.
Over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, we’ll explore each one of these fundamental values. Get ready for your childlike heart to be infused with a shot of pure joy as we anticipate the most wonderful time of the year. Ready?
Here’s Core Value #1:
Before our little adopted grandson Benjamin loved his mother and daddy, they loved him. They prayed for him. They sacrificed time, money, and energy to get to him. They endured trial after trial to bring him home to live with them. Nothing has ever, or will ever, diminish their love for him.
Our three biological grandchildren were blessed to experience that same degree of love from the moment they were formed. None of them, however, knew how much they were loved until they experienced moment after moment of their parents’ tender kindness, nourishment, and security. Nothing has ever, or will ever, diminish their love for them.
When God formed us He couldn’t help but love us because that’s who He is. But, it took the experience of a new spiritual birth for us to begin to understand this kind of overwhelming love. No matter how old we get He longs for us to experience His love. If we’ve moved far away from Him, he longs to bring us home. He delights in us acknowledging His tender acts of kindness. He’s provided all of creation as a testimony to His love and His steadfast presence. No matter how far away we’ve roamed, He stands ready to wrap us up in His love.
God knows we’re not perfect, and we don’t always share. We sometimes hit when we should hold hands. We refuse to flush the past. We hate to say we’re sorry. And, He knows we think the ability to enjoy a peaceful nap in the middle of a storm is just plain crazy.
Maybe it’s time to become so childlike that we climb into the lap of God, say we’re sorry, and let Him love us.
“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” (1 John 4:15-16)
Nothing has ever, or will ever, diminish the love God has for you.
Now, Kids, repeat after me.
“Love God because God is love and He first loved us.”