It’s summertime; and for me that means that I get to spend a lot of time with my children. As the school year approaches, I want to make sure I’m filling my kids’ ‘backpacks’ (or hearts and minds) with essentials they’ll need as they sift through life. Sometimes I mess up. Sometimes I get cranky because I haven’t been able to think my own thoughts for several days straight. I don’t want to fill their backpacks with junk.
The apostle Paul teaches us that even in the toughest situations, we can and should rejoice with optimism. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8 –
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
What does that mean? It means that despite one’s circumstances – a job loss, a sick relative, a misbehaved child, a boring teacher, a closed-minded boss – focus on what you do like…what is positive…and set your minds on “these things”.
You see, God made you, me, your pastor, the slow driver in front of you, and that treadmill hog at the gym.
King David says to God in Psalm 139:14 –
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
And one of my favorite verses reminds me that, according to God’s Word in Isaiah 43:4 –
You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.
So, as you go through the summer with your children and grandchildren; and as you start the new school year with your classroom students or go back to work with your colleagues or even just go to Walmart to make a purchase…remember that God doesn’t make junk. It’s our jobs as Christ followers to fill up backpacks, purses, and briefcases with love, kindness, and real Christian attitudes.
This is my challenge to you:
This week, tell someone something you like about them. This can be via email, text, phone call, or in person. Don’t choose someone obvious. Choose someone who you normally wouldn’t compliment to make it a true challenge. In other words, don’t take the easy way out. Perhaps you will use Philippians 4:8 as your guide.
May the peace of Christ be with you all!