I bought myself a bottle of iced tea at the grocery store today. It was an odd thing for me to do and I don't remember the last time, if ever, I have done it. When I opened the bottle, the quote above was written under the lid. I've loved all things Abe Lincoln ever since I took a semester course on the man in college. I loved that class. What an amazing man! God truly placed him in just the right position in history.
If you look for the bad in people, you will surely find it.
This evening, I thought of the quote as I was in a conversation with some other homeschooling Moms. Believe it or not, homeschool Moms often talk about their kids and, well, schooling. Of course, our discussions lean towards curriculum and academic subjects. However, it seems that just as often, we talk about character issues - kindness, diligence, patience, obedience, joyfulness, perseverance and the list goes on.
All parents, homeschooling or not, think on these things and whether or not such characteristics can be found in their children. They are hugely important! However, as a homechooling mom, I sometimes feel like my children's lack of these things, their imperfections...their sin...is constantly thrown in my face all day, every day.
I can't get away from it when they head off to school, because school is here. I know when they speak unkindly to a fellow classmate (it's their brother). I see when they don't put their best effort into a math assignment. I bear the brunt of a bad attitude or frustration over a required task. It can be wearing, to say the least.
Unfortunately, I'm afraid I let all of this color how I "see" my students. Instead of seeing the amazing, fun, loving, bright kids they are, I tend to focus on the areas that are less than. To put it bluntly, I see the bad more than the good. Ouch! That hurts to admit. Who wants a teacher, let alone a Mom, that sees you in this light all the time?
It ought not be so if I am trying to see my children through the eyes of Christ. This doesn't mean I should never be critical of my kids; it is my role as parent to teach and admonish them. My instruction and guidance, however, need to be tempered with love and grace. And love, as we know, covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8).
So, thanks Abe! Thanks for reminding me of the way I should be looking at my kids and my spouse and my family and my friends and all those who come across my path.