Our four year old seems to have this knack for breaking things. Most times he breaks things belonging to his older brother. I don’t think his intentions are to destroy his brother’s toys, at least I hope not. Maybe it’s his young age or lack of understanding of caring for things that attributes to this recurrence. Unfortunately for his older brother, he’s the one who suffers, but ultimately he takes it in stride. Big brother goes about his day and gets over it quickly. He even let’s his brother play with other things that are special to him. Now that I think of it, maybe that’s why this situation keeps happening. Hmmm, something to consider.
There is a lesson to be learned from the response of a seven year old; one on learning to share in all things whether positive or negative. Here is what I mean: In the past I’ve wanted to ensure that all would go just right or as close to right as possible. I wanted my family to make all of the right decisions so as not to cause the rest of us to suffer. Unfortunately, this expectation is not very realistic. We live and interact with others, so we will be connected to the results of both theirs and our decisions, whether the outcome is positive or negative.
There are some things we suffer because of another’s decisions. A Biblical example would be of the first instance of sin. As a result of mankind’s first disobedient act toward God, all mankind now suffers death. Similarly, there are things others suffer because of our poor decisions or mistakes. There are also things people choose to suffer in order to help another through their suffering. This is all a part of the relational nature of mankind. We share in each other’s joy and we share in each other’s pain. We are a community meant to help, build up and care for one another.
Is it okay to only share in another’s positive and not their negative? Do we leave someone alone to deal with their unfavorable results of a bad decision? When your sister in Christ falls and hurts herself do you stand back, watch and let her wallow in pain while saying, “I told you so”? Or do you bandage her up with words of truth and encouragement and help her back to the right path?
We should encourage and teach each other what is right according to God but we are to allow each other room to grow in making choices and decisions. Keep in mind that I am not referring to deliberate negligence or disobedience to God but giving each person the opportunity to learn to follow Him. We do this by being willing to be there and share with them the outcome, whether positive or negative. This is true for marriage, family, friendships and any form of community.
The ultimate point I’m trying to relay here is togetherness through good or bad. Like the early church, we are to remain in a state of love, care and concern for the other’s well-being, even to the point of enduring discomfort ourselves for our fellow sister.
Acts 4:32, “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common”.