Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Stars or Dots?

1 Thessalonians 5:11-15 The Message (MSG)

9-11 God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
13-15 Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

I never know when an idea for a post will come to me, but when they do I usually get a tingly feeling. You know that feeling that goes through your body like a small electric shock? Then a nudging to write about whatever the topic is.

This exact feeling transpired last Friday in my classroom while we were reading a book called You Are Special by Max Lucado. This story has a sweet lesson.  I love having the students listen to the story and then recording all the attributes that make them special.

While we were listening to the story (keep in mind I have heard this story many times) a certain part of the story stood out to me on this particular day that made me sit up and pay attention. The Wemmick's maker Eli is telling the main character why he is special, Eli said,  "" Oh, you don't have to defend yourself to me, child. I don't care what the other Wemmicks think." "You don't?" "No, and you shouldn't either. Who are they to give stars or dots? They are Wemmicks just like you. What they think doesn't matter, Punchinello. All that matters is what I think. And I think you are pretty special."

Wow!! We are eager to judge others and others are eager to judge us, but why? In this short paragraph, Max Lucado does a beautiful job of summing up God's thoughts on this matter. He tells us we should not worry about others' thoughts, only His. Yet we find ourselves in situations where we are consumed by the thoughts of others. So much so it cripples our ability to be ourselves. To shine.

That people pleaser thing I talked about a while back feeds on this type of thought process. We tend to strive for stars, but the dots beat us down, so much so we tend to hide or cower in a corner. God doesn't want His children to feel this way. He wants us to put our trust and faith in Him and Him alone. We are all humans. We are sinners. We fall short every day!! When we begin to look to others for validation we are disappointed because one day we can get a star from that person and the next day we get a dot. Our emotions and self-worth are skewed.

On the other end of the spectrum, we much realize our actions and words harms others (our giving of stars and dots). Whether it's a friend, family member, or co-worker we need to remember our job is to build them up, accept them for who they are, love them (even the sandpaper ones), and pray for them. Our job is not to give out stars or dots. We are not worthy enough to earn that title, yet we so gladly take it on. We are to accept others for who they are and love them and pray for them, not judge them or gossip about them or make them feel bad about themselves.

I am challenging myself (maybe you want to do the same)  to listen to God's voice. To put my faith in Him and Him alone and to build up those who are so eager to be the ones to hand out the dots. Let me ask you this in you live only for the stars others give or feel like a complete failure when someone throws dots freely at you or do you lean into God and listen to what He has to say about your worth? My friend God says YOU ARE SPECIAL!!

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