What About Him?
For any family with more than one child, the dispensing of chores on Saturday morning tests the mettle of the most skilled of parents. Children await their assignments with lower lips ready to pout, hands poised to become fists on hips, and brows ready to furrow—IF there is a shade of inequity evident in the choice of chores per child. “What about Billy!? He never has to clean the bathroom?” and on and on. Parents put on the diplomat hat and attempt to negotiate an equitable distribution based on skill, mood, yuckiness of the task, and resistance levels. After the jockeying and positioning has reached the boiling point, the parental foot comes down hard, all debate stops, and the minions are sent to their assignments. Overstated? Perhaps a bit; but if you’re a parent, you know the drill.
What is hard for children to understand is that often parents have reasons for the choices they make among “equals.” And they are reasons it takes a parent to understand. Maybe a child needs a challenge. Perhaps another one has had a discouraging week and needs a taste of success. And yet another may need to learn to obey even when it’s not easy. But these are reasons that make little sense to young children, and are therefore best left unexpressed. They serve only to prolong the debate—er, discussion—and delay the chores getting done.
Often spiritual children don’t understand the Heavenly Father’s reasons either; just like in a family. Once, Jesus was about to “go out of town on a trip,” and he gathered some of his spiritual children together. He gave Peter an ominous sounding assignment to accomplish while he was gone, and Peter immediately said, “Well, what about my brother, John? What does he have to do?” Jesus’ answer: “You have your assignment, Peter. Don’t worry about John.” Peter’s swallow was his only reply.
Our main responsibility is to discern the purpose in God’s words for us; not his words for us compared to his words for everyone else. If we will do that, the kingdom chores will get done much more quickly.
God’s Promise to You: “If you listen you will hear my words for you.”