I began making an effort to start talking about the future with George and telling him how he is going to be a great man. I also then encourage him to start being a good boy now..that it will be very hard to suddenly be "good" when he gets older. We then tell him, that none of us are ever "good enough" and it's now about being good - but it is all about knowing who he is in Christ!
George needs to know that in Christ he is free!
That in Christ, he is forgiven!
That in Christ, he is an adopted son of the King!
That in Christ, he is loved!
That in Christ, he is forgiven!
And that in Christ, he is GREAT!
Last night, as our family gathered in the living room, I sighed at George and said, 'You've had a tough day, haven't you?" He nodded silently.
In one day, he had been disrespectful, disobedient, mean, teasing, selfish and bossy. And every time I corrected him on these issues, he was getting more and more angry. I can now literally see the anger boiling inside of him - almost shooting arrows out his eyes at me.
But, I continued to reach out to him. I told him I was disappointed in the way he acted today, but now it was time for devotionals, and I really wanted him to sit next to me...because I love him.
He sat down. Lincoln pouted about not sitting next to me, and I stayed next to George. I saw George's head raise a little.
Joe started reading the devotional. He read, "Doing right is easier once you've committed to God's ways...doing the right thing is easier if you've already made your mind up before temptation hits. You need to decide NOW what you will do when temptation hits. Commit NOW to obeying God's word and following His commands, and trust Him every day for the strength to avoid temptation or, if you can't avoid it, to resist it when it comes."
Joe continued to read and when the devotional was over he asked, "Do you ever face temptation?"
We bravely went around the room and shared how we are most tempted each day: Joe - to stay in the Word on the road;Traci - -to take the easy way, instead of the "right" way; Eleanor - to say unkind words with her tongue; Harry - to be lazy; Isabel - to be prideful; George - to be self-centered; Lincoln - to lack self control; and Anna...well....Anna said she was "tempted to color." :)
Then Joe asked, "Have you committed your life to following God's ways?"
At this point, I looked over at George and he was clearly shaken...and tears started rolling down his cheeks.
I reach out to him and wrapped my arms around him as he said, "I always chose the wrong thing. I always chose to do what I want and to think of myself. I don't want to be a bad man when I grow up, and I think I will be if I keep choosing the bad things now."
I asked him if he "hears" God talk to him. He looked at me confused, because he has always lamented that he doesn't HEAR God. I asked, "When you were opening that bag of chips that I specifically told you not to open....did you hear anything in your heart?" He nodded. "George, that was God! What did He say?"
George answered quietly, "He said I probably shouldn't do that..."
"Buddy! That was God! He DOES talk to you...but your job is to listen to Him. We all have to PRACTICE listening and then DOING what He says. God is with you when you are tempted..and He is guiding you. Practice listening to His voice."
Oh, buddy. We love you so much! We shared with him how we ALL chose the "bad" things each day...we ALL are tempted to go our own way. You are not alone buddy! And God sees you as perfect...without sin...because of what Jesus did for you! Do you remember what Jesus did?
"He took all my sin."
Yes! And George...YOU ARE a GOOD boy! No...you are a GREAT boy! We all came around George and prayed for him. I looked around the room and all the older ones were touched by this genuine display of remorse. I think we all needed to see this tonight.