Kids are back in school this month. Some are loving it. Some are despising it. Most parents I know are rejoicing. As I think about being back in school, I’m reminded how hard it is sometimes to be a kid. They’ve got hours of homework and extra-curricular activities. Alarms go off early and even the most studious kid can turn into a ball of stress when taking a test. Not to mention bullies and cliques.
Adults, give the kids in your life a little extra love!
It certainly doesn’t get easier as an adult. Some gained perspective helps, but there are even more balls to keep airborne and still bullies and even cliques. Even within Christianity, within Lutheranism, there are people we wish we didn’t have to interact with. People we don’t particularly like, and people who we think have it all wrong. Which brings me to the 8th commandment and Luther’s explanation of it. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
We often simplify this to – don’t lie. However, Luther’s reflections on this commandment in his Small and Large Catechism include: “We are to… interpret everything [our neighbors] do in the best possible light.” “It is a particularly fine, noble virtue to put the best construction on all we may hear about our neighbors.”
Tough stuff. Can we assume that people intend the best? That we’re all just trying our best to be faithful in our life in Christ? A life that is not easy or simple. A life that inevitably brings division and disagreement with one another. Before we assume we know another’s intentions, can we be curious enough to get clear while interpreting everything in the best possible light? Remembering that we are siblings in Christ, made one in the Spirit, may help.
Relatively speaking, we spend most of our lives outside a school setting. Yet we’re always learning. It’s not easy. So give yourself a little extra love too.