Get a Job

Ethan put a sticker on Bailey the other day that said, "Good Job!".   He slapped it on her hand and proclaimed, "Here you go, Bailey.  Get a job!"

He is a new reader who sometimes gets in too much of a hurry.  The work of decoding words and sounding out phonograms is bothersome for a little boy who has places to go and things to do.

Get a job.

Was that encouragement?  The sticker was supposed to be for commending a job well done, for congratulating someone on their accomplishment.  Wouldn't it look nice at the top of your paper?

Of course he didn't mean it to be offensive.  He wasn't telling his sister that she was lazy and unproductive.  I don't know what he was thinking, really.  Why would "Get a job!" be a nice thing to put on a kid's sticker?

She covered it with grace and laughed when she shared the story with me.

But you know how sometimes we hear the wrong thing?  Someone intends to 'help' us but their words, they just sting?  In some twisted audio-conversion, a compliment can even turn into criticism.

Dinner was delicious tonight mysteriously becomes It's about time we had a decent meal.

I like your hair  is translated I've been waiting for you to do something with yourself.

I really like so-and-so's mom  is rendered  I wish you were more fun,  like her.

We are having some communication breakdowns in our home today, and I wonder how many of them have been birthed from misunderstandings and bad hearing?  Relationships are most important, but I wonder if the stress of the day has left us with too little time to decode words and search out hearts?

As people called to relationship, brothers and sisters called to live together in harmony, maybe we aren't giving enough time for  encouragement.

Maybe our meaning gets lost in translation, or past offenses stop up our ears.

You've probably heard of the 'sandwich criticism', giving your criticism sandwiched between two compliments?  Wouldn't it be better to just naturally be so encouraging that you didn't have to plan out soft landings for your criticisms?

How would my kids respond if encouragement was plenty and nagging was rare?

Someone, everyone, needs encouraging words today.  A tired  traveller can go a long way on one or two encouraging words, and aren't we all trying to get somewhere?

I'm trying to get to a place where my correction is received because my children know that I see good in them, that Christ is not done with any of us and just because you make a mistake, doesn't make you  a mistake.  It's so easy to see what's undone, but I don't want to be the one undoing with my words.  I want to be a builder.

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. - Pro 14:1 NKJV

And I also want to get to the place where I receive criticism without  offense (praying, "Lord, show me the truth in this."), and where I hear compliments as just that, not as veiled criticism.

{How about you?  Do you struggle to receive correction?  Do you hear compliments as veiled criticism?  How does this affect your walk with the Lord?}


Our family's thanks continues, #225-232

 So many offers of help with our move that we've lost count

Derek coming to help finish the flooring with Dad


Christ is risen!



Sunrise service on the  mountaintop

Chocolate and coffee