Try a Positive Approach
“Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?… Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’” John 8:10–11 (nlt)
I pulled my protesting son off the kitchen chair and headed to the “sit stool,” which was out of everyone else’s hearing. Discontent with only half of his friend Gracie’s graham crackers, he wanted all of them and his own as well. It was time for a talk. Madder than ever at the embarrassment of a timeout, he continued his complaints while I sat him on my lap, determined to be the adult and handle this calmly.
“Paxton, you’re a kind boy.” Suddenly he was listening.
“Now I want to see you act like it.” His thumb went in his mouth, a sure sign that my sweet boy was back.
He relaxed into me for a moment before responding. “Mom, Grathee can have all of my cwackers,” he managed with a thumby lisp.
Stunned, I explained that he didn’t have to give all the crackers away; he just needed to share as Gracie had shared with him.
As I saw into my little boy’s heart, Jesus allowed me to witness a picture of mercy’s shocking power and the importance of appealing to someone’s basic desire to avoid condemnation. Instead of being pulled away to be told he was acting naughty, Paxton had been shocked and transformed with a positive approach.
Jesus is a master of the positive approach. Even though He has every right to condemn us, He handles us with merciful care, which gently transforms us into creatures who can reflect His beautiful character. He doesn’t let us get away with wrongs; He just guides us to the bar that He sets high instead of smacking us over the head with it.
FAITH STEP: Who needs your positive approach instead of condemnation today? Perhaps yourself?
Written by Erin Keeley Marshall
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