Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 Kings 5


Prairie Chick said...

"He had much respect because the Lord used him...." v1

This struck a chord in me. I have been wrestling with some thoughts that I have had difficulty pinning down, but it has to do with self confidence and self worth, and identity, etc. Specifically when it comes to the psychology of raising children. On one side you read books from Dobson and Lehman and multiple chapters (especially Lehman) are devoted to exhorting parents to build into their children's self worth and confidence, to encourage their strengths and give them opportunity to excel and to be sure and tell them how proud you are of them and how well they are doing, etc.

Something has always not quite sat right with me in that department, even though I was raised with no affection, and a perfectionist mother that I could never please and I craved affection and approval. I also strived for perfection and was never really satisfied with my position, always thinking I could do better, so I do see how lack of encouragement, unconditional love and support is detrimental and unhealthy.

But on the other hand, secular psychology shows that we are dealing with a generation today that has been for the most part raised with very low standards. It was so important to build positive self esteem into a child that the bar was lowered to whatever level necessary in order to praise a child that indeed they are doing great, even if they are really only doing mediocre.

But my point is this. I recently listened to a sermon on parenting and discipleship that really got me thinking and really seemed to hit the nail on the head for me. Yes we want to raise confident children, yes we want to raise children who have hope and vision and confidence. The problem is that we don't clarify where that hope and vision and confidence is to come FROM. We get mixed up. We think they need to be confident in who they have been created to be, in what they can and have accomplished, in what "they" can do.

This sermon just threw that completely on its head and said this is humanism at its simplest. Our children's confidence is not to be tied to who "they" are or what "they" are capable of, but to their identity in Christ and GOD'S grace in wanting to take a MEDIOCRE life and use it to accomplish His purposes.

The focus changes entirely from wanting to be confident about our own personality and accomplishments to wanting to glorify God and praise Him for the great things HE accomplishes and cultivates in us. So we are never "great". Only God is allowed to do greater and greater things in us when we come to realize this and our confidence grows and our vision grows because we come to recognize we are redeemed, and not our own, and if we have any respect and worth it is because "the Lord has used us."

Just my jumbled thoughts this morning.

Jude said...

Love your jumbled thoughts!

There were several verses that caught my attention but I will just focus on the same as you but from a different perspective... God using those who do not know him and do not seek his guidance. I do not know if I have more to say than that this amazes me and that I do believe in God's sovreign hand over everyone and everything. I know that he brought me to a good place when I was not seeking him so I have seen it in my own life. So powerful that I just cannot fathom Him....