Peace and contentment 101
Peace and contentment 101
Well, we’ve wrapped up our Contentedness series. It was the perfect lesson to straddle the holiday season and use in tandem with the Christmas lesson. I do believe our family experienced fewer “gimme-gimmes” and more “delight in giving” this year.
Two weeks before Christmas, Jessica came home from school with a present for Rob and me wrapped in a brown paper bag decorated like a little house. And for two weeks she danced around with anticipation and pleasure until we could open it. It was sheer joy for us as parents to see her take such delight in giving.
Both kids had also come to me independently asking for help to make a Christmas gift for their sibling. So we had a craft day and I spent time with each of them creating presents “in secret.” I loved seeing how both were completely focused on making their gift personal, beautiful and meaningful. Glitter and love covered the kitchen!
Our final contentedness teaching centred on verses from James 3 and 4 (Peace and Contentment 101). Because we had such buy-in last time when Rob paraphrased verses and had Jess read them, he did the same, only this time both kids read. Once again they really engaged because they were doing the Scripture reading.
Two great questions evolved from our discussion. We had just talked about treating God like a vending machine when Rob asked, “Is it always wrong to ask God for things?” Both immediately recognized that in many situations it’s good to ask.
To help them understand when and why, we offered some selfish and some altruistic examples. “What if I said I wanted a bigger car? Would it be wrong to ask for that?” Ben maturely responded, “We don’t need a bigger car. We love our car! We should be satisfied with what we have!” Then I added a twist. “What if I wanted a bigger car so we could take some of our neighbourhood kids with us to church every Sunday?” Ahhhhh! Their perspective changed in a hurry.
“Would it be right to ask God to make you the smartest, strongest, fastest, most attractive kid in your class?” Immediately there came a chorus of “NO!” that led to us identifying our motives for asking. Does our request benefit others or does it only profit me? The point was driven home.
The second question was, “Should we always agree with others? Should we be content to follow the crowd?” Ben knew that there would be times when he simply couldn’t agree with someone who believed in something that wasn’t real. Jess was less sure that she would choose to differ with a friend. To help her figure things out, we asked, “What if your friend said that God didn’t exist? What if someone said something that you knew wasn’t true? Would you still agree?” Once again, the right way became clear.
True contentment lies in knowing Truth and living it. What a great challenge to embrace!