My use of the word "kids" is not intended as disrespectful to us or to God. I chose that word because I want to use a metaphor as an illustration which most understand. All of us have been kids. Most of us have been or are parents of small children.

To any caring, conscientious parent, no life experience sobers you as deeply as does rearing children. The weight of responsibility in rearing children is enormous. It is as though parents have a personality placed in their hands to mold into a person.

As kids, most of us had parents determined to influence the way we looked at life. They used a variety of influences to shape our view of life--from gushy love to powerful discipline. Teaching us right from wrong shaped our view of life--as did teaching us how to work, teaching us the meaning of honesty, and teaching us responsibility. All such efforts were much more than a "do this!" list. They declared, "Look at life this way!"

Are you tempted to disagree? Consider: is there a difference between the adult with a solid sense of right, who works hard, who is always honest, and who is responsible and the adult who cannot distinguish right from wrong, who rarely works, who easily lies, and who is never dependable? If the answer is "Yes!" what is the difference? A basic difference is this: those two adults look at life entirely differently.

When our kids look at life in ways that conflict with the way we look at life, our common reaction is a profound sense of horror. Christian adults want our kids to look at life as we do. It matters! It is important--fundamentally important to existence!

So it is with God! Scripture's common metaphor used to illustrate the relationship God wants to maintain with us is contained in the word "father." God wants the same relationship with us that exists between loving fathers and their children. When we enter Christ, we become God's kids. What we are and do matters to God!

God wants us to be spiritual people (1 Peter 2:9,10). To be spiritual we must look at life and life's influences as does God. We consciously choose between forces and influences that oppose God's spirituality and forces and influences that encourage God's spirituality (1 John 2:15-17). We cannot oppose and belong to God at the same time!

When we justify and love influences that oppose God, we choose to love influences that make it impossible for God's love to live in us. God does not choose to stop loving us as "His kids." We surrender to influences that make it impossible for His love to survive in us. If we are to be "His kids," we must want Him to teach us how to look at life.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 3 June 2001

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