Who would ever think that jumping rope could glorify God?
After reading the rest of her story, I doubt if any reader will wonder whether Elizabeth's jumping glorifies God: "Thanks to my teacher, I realize that people there barely ever get visited. When the people see us jump rope, their faces light up with joy. I know people there get lonely, because both of my grandfathers died there."
Children have the power to bring smiles to the faces of older people. My hope is that some kids would take a cue from Elizabeth. I can't help but believe that her compassionate jumping brings great delight to God as well.
"I can start spending more time with my family to glorify God," says Jeremy, 10. "Four or five days every week, I'm doing some kind of sports. I think family is more important."
There's a wonderful book by Randy Frazee entitled "Making Room for Life: Trading Chaotic Lifestyles for Connected Relationships." The title says it all. Our lives can easily become chaotic by trying to do too many things.
I like sports as well as the next guy, but they can become poison for family unity. Moms and dads become chauffeurs to get the kids to the next game or lesson. Nerves get frazzled and lives unravel because everyone operates on overload 24/7. In some families, the evening meal together has become a relic of a time when life was simpler.
Drop some of the sports and slow down, says Frazee. We have to make time to glorify God and to build connected relationships. That means saying "no," and we don't like to say "no," especially when so many entertainment and activity opportunities beckon. Realizing that less is sometimes more will make it easier to jettison some of your activities.
"I need to work on my anger and self-control so that I don't get in trouble at school," says Carson, 11. "I would like to do the Scripture that says, 'Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.'"
The golden rule can serve as a starting point for controlling anger, but the problem with rules is that they can't change your inner motivation. Only God's indwelling Holy Spirit can transform your desires.
God has promised his Spirit to all who accept the gift of eternal life through believing that Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay for all your sins. Jesus rose from the dead to give us new life. God wants to transform us from the inside out. Religion tries to change us from the outside by keeping rules and religious rituals. It never works.
The challenge for all Christians is to change their thinking about who occupies the center of the universe. If the world revolves around you, then you will become angry when your universe spins out of control.
The perspective for thinking differently is the Bible. It's so important that Blake, 11, says, "When we don't do Bible studies, we leave God in heaven crying."
Think about this: God is glorified when Jesus becomes the center of your universe. "It's all about me" is replaced with "It's all about Jesus."
Memorize this truth: "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
Ask this question: Who is at the center of your universe?
COPYRIGHT 2021 CAREY KINSOLVING