Why Do We Fall?
If you believe Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins, it’s so we can learn to pick ourselves up again. To quote the great Gru, “this is garbage.”
We fall because we live in a fallen world. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, sin entered the world, creating an imperfect environment in which we are separated from God.
I believe the more important question to ask is, “What happens after we fall?” Because let’s not kid ourselves, we will fall. Repeatedly. And the response after that is quite important.
There are probably more options than the ones I’m about to list, but this will give you the idea. After falling, we can be ridiculed, shamed, lifted up, forgiven. How do you treat those around you after they fall? Is it how you’d want to be treated?
I have the pleasure and responsibility of working with young adults, typically with ages between 12 and 19. They fall. A lot. Repeatedly over the same issues. When I think back to
my teenage years the past year, I fell too. A lot. Repeatedly over the same issues. Those around me could have responded in one of two ways to me: 1. the World’s way. Or 2. Christ’s way.
Do you model Christ’s love in your encouragement of students?
The World’s way is to shame and ridicule. To point a shaking finger and say something like, “you know better” or “how could you do that (again)?”
Christ’s way is completely different. His way is to pick us up, to forgive when we repent, and to say “I love you, now move forward.”
When working with young adults, it has to be understood that they are going to fall. And it’s not just the fringe kids that will fall, but those in leadership, those that you think have it together. Sin is universal. So the way we respond is key.
As Billy Graham once said, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.” Did you catch that? MY JOB IS TO LOVE. Not convict, not judge, not condemn, not ridicule or shame, but to love. To love as God loved us that he would sacrifice his son for us.
Do you try and modify behavior through shame or do you model Christ’s love in your encouragement of students? I hope and pray it’s the latter.