Have you ever wished you were just a little bit more like Jesus? More patient with your kids, less likely to get irritable when your husband comes back from the grocery store with eight things instead of the two you asked him to pick up?
Have you every wanted your kids to ACT a little bit more just like Jesus? Less likely to complain, quick to share even if it’s their favorite toy or favorite sweatshirt?
Yeah, me too.
We all know what we’re supposed to do–be just like Jesus. So we try. But sooner or later, an unkind word slips out or kids are back to bickering, and our attempts fail.
How can we live just like Jesus? How can we teach our kids to be like him?
Kick Off the Conversation Doing a Simple Science Experiment
Supplies: cut white flowers (daisies, carnations, mums, etc.), one or two small jars, water, food coloring (or natural food colorings)
Say: I like white flowers but my favorite color is blue [yellow, red, whatever] So I want this carnation to be blue instead of white. Seems impossible, right?
- Fill the small jars with water.
- Choose two of your favorite colors and add food coloring to the water and stir.
- Add the cut flowers to the water.
[I set time lapse on my iPhone and let it run for sixteen hours overnight. This short video was the result.]
How did that happen?
After awhile the flower started to get thirsty. It needs water to live. Slowly the flower started drinking the blue water. The blue water filled up small tube-like things in the stem of the flower. Then the blue water filled up the flower petals. Soon the white carnation turned blue. The white carnation in yellow water turned yellow.
The white carnation can want really, really badly to be blue.
It can’t try to blue.
It can choose to blue.
It can learn about become blue.
BUT it will never turn blue.
What’s the only thing that can turn that white carnation blue?
Staying in the blue water!
Living Just Like Jesus – Talking Points
The same is true for living like Jesus.
You can really, really want to be like Jesus.
You can try hard always to share.
You can try hard never to get upset.
But guess what? Sometimes that’s really hard. Especially when your sister takes your toy without asking. You just CAN’T do it any more than that white carnation could turn blue.
What’s the only thing that will make you live just like Jesus?
When you believe in Jesus, God gives you his Holy Spirit. His Spirit fills you up, up, up. Just like the blue water filled up the flower stem and petals. The POWER to be loving, joy-filled, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle comes from God’s Spirit inside you. HE’S the one who’s going to make you like Jesus, not you.
So what do you DO?
It doesn’t mean you quit being kind or being patient. But when you feel like it’s really hard to…
just tell God that. Say, “God, it’s really hard. It’s just not inside me. Do you think your Spirit inside me would do it for me?”
How do I know? Because it’s happened to me many, many many times. And because he promises (John 15:5): “Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
Which “color” do you want God’s Spirit to bring into your life?
love and joy
peace and patience
kindness and goodness
gentleness and faithfulness
@ Carol Garborg, 2020