“Here’s what’s wrong.”
We start a lot of conversations with that sentiment.
Because let’s be honest – there’s a lot of things that are wrong. There are a lot of things in this world that are wrong. There are a lot of things that can get our blood boiling, our hearts pounding, our anger kindled and our hearts heavy. Today in particular, my heart is burdened for the Kurdish people, for the children who have already died or watched their parents die. I hate war and what it does to humanity.
And it’s not hard to find things like this and more. Every day I read blogs that enumerate and extricate the wrong in the world, everything from drinking from water bottles to terrible wars and gross abuse. There is a lot to get frustrated about. And the church, well, we have a lot to say about a lot of things.
I don’t know. I’m not even here to say that we shouldn’t notice these things and speak up about them. You all know, I’ve written my fair share of blogs stating my own “Here’s what’s wrong…”. And my version of pacifism isn’t passive at all but active in pursuing justice and hope in this world.
But I look at children and I see the hope in their eyes as they look to the future and they think about this world and I can’t help but think that all of my “here’s what’s wrongs” aren’t doing them any favors.
Even if I’m right about what’s wrong and even if it’s something they need to know is wrong, I’m beginning to think the conversation needs to start further back, before the wrong, to what is right.
In the beginning, God created the heaven and earth…and it was good. Later on, sin entered the world, and it was wrong. But the wrong that came did not negate the good that was. If anything, the wrong that came showed us just how good the good was and our souls began craving that Good once again (Rom. 7).
But, if we taste that good, if we enter into that grace and once again experience all the good that God has to lavish on our souls, and then spend our days pointing out all the bad all around us…are we really living into the abundant life God has purchased for us? Shouldn’t the good be our launching point, not the bad?
Hear me, I’m not saying we ignore what’s wrong.
I’m not saying we excuse it or dismiss it or pretend it’s not there.
In fact, I think we are actually called to speak out, to defend those who can’t speak for themselves, to be the voice to the voiceless and the friend to the marginalized.
But for me, I think I want to change the tone of the conversation. Instead of starting with the “Here’s what’s wrong” routine, I think I want to start from the “Here’s what’s right” standpoint. Instead of only pointing fingers, I want to extend grace as it has been extended to me. I want to start with Genesis 1 not Genesis 3. I want my kids to know what’s right in this world and that all hope is not lost because we serve a God of future and hope.
When I see the sin in this world, I don’t want to simply “smh” and walk away.
I want to remember that before the sin, God was good.
I want to tell my kids, “God is good. His love is perfect. What you see there, that wrong you are experiencing, that’s not Him. That’s not His ways. That’s not His heart. Here’s what’s right in this world – God loved us SO MUCH that He sent His Son into this world to rescue us from the wrong and wrap us up in the good and whoever believes in Him can experience that abundant life.”
Because I believe that if we start celebrating what is right more, we may see actual changes to what is wrong. If we celebrate the good we see, it will contrast so much to the wrong, that it may help more people choose the good. We can see that happen in simple things like Ellen’s statement this week to “be kind to everyone.” That statement went viral seconds after it was posted because people are hungry for good. Ultimately, they are hungry for Christ, and as the Church, we are the ones who can point to that ultimate good.
What if we started more conversations with “Here’s what’s right…”
What if we celebrated more? What if we affirmed each other more?
What if we took the time to point out the amazing things that are happening all around us every. single. day?
There’s HOPE to be had, there’s good to be noticed, and God is still at work in this world today.
I want to give my kids something to fight FOR, not just things to fight against.
There are things that are wrong. There are horrible terrible things.
But there are things that are good. And I happen to think our children are one of those things and given the tools of love, grace, and hope, I believe they can be world-changers. I want to send the next generation out to wage peace in this world because they know there is good worth fighting for and they see it all around them.
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
About this Blog
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and church planter at Plowshares BIC. With years of experience in family ministry and children’s ministry, she is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, ChurchLeaders.com, and Seedbed
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