...Or how to praise and make them feel better.
I drank coffee with my devotional this morning, a break from my usual raw juice. I had to read it twice, and take a look at their understanding of it.
Colossians 1:6 …that came to you in the same way as it is bearing fruit and growing throughout the world. It has had the same effect among you, ever since you heard about the grace of God and recognized it for what truly is.
Paul was praising their progress in being Children in Christ. He does allude to the fact that they have a long way to go, but he does not start the letter by slamming them with criticism after criticism. This story of encouragement in growing as Children of the Lord can also be applied to everyday life.
How many situations have you been in when you are learning something for the first time, and the person who is “helping” you sounds exasperated, frustrated and ready to quit because, instead of trying to find a different way to teach you, they keep doing the same thing over and over after it is evident that you just don’t get it that way? How many times have you caught yourself doing that to someone you love, whether it’s homeschooling or just showing them something on the computer? We are guilty of criticizing and not praising what they have accomplished so far.
I homeschooled my son. It wasn’t easy. There were times that I had to take a step back and remind myself that this is the first time he is learning the material. I took a deep breath, and started again by asking him what he understood, gave him praise, and moved on from there. There were things that I taught him to do , non-school related, when he got frustrated with me because I complemented him, and then told him where he could improve his technique. I had to explain to him that I was recognizing him for the good things he did, but, in order to improve himself, there were a few things he had left to do.
We, as God’s Children, need to praise ourselves for the right decisions we have made in our walk with God. We also need to look in the mirror. After all, none of us are perfect, and we all have a few things we have left to do.