“Will you show me how?” eight year old Jessie asked.
Has a child ever put you on the spot with a question? Maybe one you’ve been asking yourself? How can we respond when we don’t know the answer?
Jessie’s mother sat with her Bible, writing in a new purple book when Jessie asked, “What are you doing?”
Kathy sighed without looking up. “I’m doing the work Mrs. Robin asked me to do. Go play.”
Loaded with boredom’s energy and full of questions, Jessie couldn’t go play when another question had to be asked. “What does Mrs. Robin want you to do?”
Kathy stopped writing, slapped the book irritatedly and looked at Jessie. “She challenged our class to seek a deeper relationship with God.” Kathy’s tone softened, “And gave us some homework to try.”
“Can I do it too? If Mrs. Robin thinks it’s good, I want to do it too. Please?”
Kathy thought the word “homework” would send Jessie out to play, but it became obvious that Jessie had the same desire, to learn about God. She showed Jessie step by step how to do the exercises she was doing. After Kathy journaled a short prayer in the purple book, Jessie wrote hers beside her mother’s. Often Jessie asked questions in which Kathy had no answers. After praying for understanding, Kathy asked her pastor and leaders for guidance. Staying one step ahead, Kathy taught her daughter some tools to maintain, strengthen and develop a deep spiritual and intimate relationship with God.
We don’t have to know everything about God, the Bible or other spiritual matters to teach others. Even the wisest theologian doesn’t have all the answers because God has kept hidden some mysteries for which we must exercise trust and faith. Besides, if we have all knowledge but have not love, we have nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-2, 8-9) for God is love (1 John 4:8, 16-17). Studying for knowledge is good. Memorizing the Bible is excellent. And serving the widows, orphans and prisoners is commanded. But mastering that and the other religious activities of our heritage isn’t the primary spiritual teaching. We need a personal God-experience to gain a hope that lasts. It’s not how much we know, but how much hope we have in who we know.
Imagine having a purple book with your child’s recorded conversations with God next to yours. That’s helping another find their God-experience.
“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Co 8:1, NIV). “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (1 Co 13:13, NLT).
(Images courtesy of sxc.hu)