Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2
So summer is fleeting, which means school supply shopping is upon us. What seems to be a menial task too often becomes a full-blown DEFCON 1 crisis. What begins as a day of basic requirements for each child/student turns into a back to school runway fashion show. Got to have those designer jeans! How about those name brand shoes! Need that trending whatchamacallit!
What isn’t a surprise is how needy our children can be. We know they don’t need everything they point to. We know they shouldn’t be so materialistic. We know these things and yet we can easily fall into their want it, gotta have it trap. What gives?
I suppose at times we simply commit to the defeat, after all back to school shopping can be boring so we give a little to their taking the longevity of the day. The hassle, we tell ourselves, will be better if we give into some of their demands. I wonder if this is how we at times view Christ and his word.
Are the demands of the world, the culture–the people we know and have come to expect of us certain things–too great? Do we suppose that compromising on our trust in what Christ says and what he puts forth in Holy Scripture is a naturally good thing? That we are better off when we get along? That cooperation is the key to all conflict resolution?
I propose something different. I concede that you might want to compromise with your children: school supplies for a new soccer ball, handbag, or pizza night. Do it, keep the peace! Call it playing into their sinful snobbery, call it being a smart parent, call it a peace negotiation! But please, please don’t let your children become cultural connoisseurs, social snobs who care less about Christ and even less about the faith you hope they grow in. They won’t be better off if you give in.
This year while picking up school supplies, or while watching others suffer doing so with their children, consider Christ. Consider that this world doesn’t have everything to offer you and that Christ never compromised to bring you eternal life from his death on the cross. Instead, revel in the joy that comes from Jesus and his love for you, for your children, and for those parents (perhaps this is you) suffering within the school supply aisle and outside the dressing rooms! Let school supply snobbery be a passing childish phase but the love of Christ be a child’s lifelong joy!