Our verse for today comes from Romans 8:29, ” For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. “
There is a long, unofficial list of things that parents set out to avoid doing with their own children, mistakes that they witnessed their parents do while raising them that they were determined not to repeat. I won’t bother to recite from that list for fear of illuminating further what we already know about our grand plans to be so much better than the previous generation. But suffice it to say that for most of us, where we succeeded in avoiding some of their faults, we have probably added new ones to the list for our kids to call out and rise above. But there is one in particular that I do want to mention, one that comes from good intentions, but at the heart, can be painful, destructive, and counter-productive. And that is the instance of parents comparing one child to another. The son or daughter may struggle in a particular area, be it behavioral or academic or emotional. And mom or dad, wanting that child to grow and mature beyond where they seem to be stuck, points out the relative success of the other sibling, asking why they cannot be like their (better) brother or sister. You sense the good intent, but the statement is full of landmines. The faulty, human standard presented to the child, the root of bitterness that can begin to grow in their heart, the sense of shame they hear from their parents, the lack of real effort from the mom or dad to train and correct. It’s a Pandora’s box in the realm of parenting.
As followers of Jesus, we ought to always have our eyes set on Him. And that is to say that He should always be our standard, our goal, our purpose. Consider how different we might be if we asked ourselves, ” What if I loved the way Jesus loved? What if I spoke the way he did? What if I was always faithful to the truth? What if I cared for possessions as little as He did? What if I lived my life with an eternal purpose on a daily mission from my Father in heaven? “Comparing is dangerous, for it can falsely puff you up, or severely knock you down. But by the power of the Spirit, God can make you into the one He’s calling you to be
As we seek Him today, ask God to take one area of your life and begin to conform it completely to the image of His Son, and then believe and expect it to happen.
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