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Appropriate Help 

29-03-2020

Introduction…

            My wife Amy is a school teacher.  She teaches elementary school, so young kids, especially early grades like kindergarten and grade 1.  Sometimes kids complain that it’s “not fair” when one kid receives different treatment than they do.  She taught me an excellent object lesson that she uses in those situations.  She says, suppose one of you falls and scrapes his knee and another falls and bumps her head.  If I give both of them a band aid, is that right?  Of course the kids know that the child with a bumped head doesn’t need a band aid, they need an ice pack.  The point is that the treatment and care the teacher offers depends on the need the child faces.  Different treatment is not necessarily “unfair” but rather appropriate to the child’s needs.

            Similarly, my daughter Megan is learning to ride a bike.  We got her a 2 wheeler with training wheels a few summers ago.  I remember when she first started out she was great!  She caught on really well, riding circles around us on the sidewalk in front of the store where we got the bike.  Then, at home, turning into our driveway, she almost bumped into the parked car.  Suddenly there was fear!  For the rest of the summer, when she had to turn her bike, she’d get freaked out. She was worried she couldn’t stop.  Time and time again, I had to encourage her that she could do it, that it was safe, that she had done it before. But she was scared! I had to encourage her because she was timid.  I knew she was able to do it because I’d seen it before.  But she had lost her confidence.

            There were times when I would get exasperated. I would get frustrated that she had regressed and that she wouldn’t just try.  Sometimes I, in my frustration, I would rebuke her for not just doing it.  Guess what. It didn’t work!  It actually made things worse!  Finally, I learned a few techniques to make her laugh, especially honking the horn on her bike and being silly with her.  I had to encourage her because she was timid. I didn’t need to chastise her for being disobedient. I didn’t need to help her because she was weak or incapable.  I had to encourage her.  I had to identify her need and offer the best solution specific to her need.

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Filetype: MP4 - Size: 91.99MB - Duration: 54:03 m