Are you allowing God to teach you? If only more people would seek God for His wisdom, personally, and learn from Him how to treat others the world would be a much better place wouldn’t it?
Today I’d just like to examine a few passages that I think are great for learning godly interpersonal and parenting skills.
Are you ready to learn from the Master?
This is probably one of the most famous of Christ’s teachings on treating others. We all know it as the “Golden Rule”:
Matthew 7: 12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
I think this one verse, if meditated on, can take us a long way towards being a loving person. It simply requires some careful thought when interacting with others in your life.
Thoughts such as “My wife’s had a rough day, perhaps I should clean up around the house so she won’t have to.”
Isn’t it amazing how this one sentence covers the essence of a vast portion of the Old Testament? Yet it’s so simple!
In this next passage, I love how we can learn from God’s example. Let’s read…
Genesis 4: 8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.
9 Afterward the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?”
“I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s guardian?”
What I love about this is that God knew all along that Cain killed Abel. Instead of accusations, condemnation, and anger, God simply asks a question: “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” He lovingly allows Cain to confess. He gives Cain a chance to repent. Perhaps you had or have a parent that is not so loving. A typical reaction for a parent to deal with a child who knowingly disobeyed is to yell, accuse and be quick to judge. God is not that way, isn’t that good news?
Here’s another great example of God’s perfect parenting skills:
Jonah 4: 6 And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.
7 But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away. 8 And as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. “Death is certainly better than living like this!” he exclaimed.
9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”
“Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”
10 Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. 11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”
In verse 8 Jonah states that he’d rather be dead and he was angry. What comes to my mind are the typical responses such as “You shouldn’t be angry.”, “Why are you angry?” or “I can’t believe you’re angry.” God takes a different path and asks “Is it right for you to be angry?” This changes everything doesn’t it? It requires Jonah to think about whether his heart is right and does not invalidate his feelings.
Doesn’t Jonah remind you of a little kid? I find this exchange a bit comical, but I think it’s ignorance on my part as I cannot begin to relate to Jonah in this setting.
And then there’s Moses…
Exodus 5: 22 Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? 23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!”
Exodus 6: 1 Then the Lord told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!”
In this exchange, we read that Moses is frustrated, confused and exasperated. I’d think that God would want to defend Himself, but God does not bother. He simply tells Moses, if I may paraphrase: “Just wait, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
You may wish to read a similar exchange with His servant Gideon in Judges 6: 11-14.
This last verse sums it up, doesn’t it?
Psalm 103: 13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
What is God teaching you?
“Dear God, Thank you for your Word so that I might know how to live. Please keep me on your path so that I can continue to learn from you. In Jesus name, amen.”