A while ago on SISTERS at ABCJLM we held an online group Bible study of James: Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. The study was so full and convicting. Shining light on areas of sin in my life that I have tried to hide or ignore. Some areas that I didn't even realize were an issue!
At one point while focusing on the commandment "loving your neighbor as yourself," we dissected Matthew 5:19.
Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (HCSB)
Did you catch it? It was the phrase "teaches others to do the same" that made me stop in my tracks. It is one thing to sin on your own. It is another to teach others to sin.
Anyone who breaks on of the least of these commandments and teacher others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
Those issues that I don't want to deal with are being passed to my children. Those sins for which I feel justified are on stage for the little eyes in our home. Those moments when I am mad and don't care are on display.
After reading these verses, the Holy Spirit got personal.
Each time I speak ill of someone or fail to show love to the "sandpaper" people in my life (those who rub me the wrong way), I am reinforcing for my children how to not love others as themselves.
Each time that I get impatient with my children I am demonstrating to them how to be impatient with their siblings.
Each time I don't put my husband first I am failing to show my daughter and sons a Biblical marriage.
Yes. I agree that children make their own choices and ultimately are responsible for the path that they choose. Also, children are born with sinful hearts so we don't need to teach babes how to sin. But right now, I am the biggest and loudest billboard in their lives. They are forming what it means to love others by watching me.
But the book of Matthew doesn't just share the negative.
...But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
"Called great in the kingdom of heaven" sounds like my heart's desire.
And, James 2:8 goes a step further.
Indeed, if you keep the royal law prescribed in the Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. (HCSB)How I so want to hear from my Savior, "You are doing well."
But when I choose to be ugly, I am not receiving the "you are doing well" report from God. Beyond that, I am also not helping my sons and daughter develop the habit of loving well. Goes right back to the old saying, "Virtues are caught more than taught." What we live is what we are teaching.
So I ask you. What sins are you teaching your child?
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