Today I ask that you head to your nearest park one that has a playground you do not have to stay long just long enough to watch the kids as they play. Make sure you take a notepad and make notes as you watch. Honestly an hour should do it, watch the children very closely. “What am I taking notes of Shannon”? Behavior….we can learn a lot as we sit and pay close attention to certain things around us. Why the play-ground? Well honestly we can learn a lot from children and we as adults can learn a great deal from some-thing as simple as a playground. First let’s understand what self-seeking is: Some people are prideful be-cause they have low self-esteem and when they are good at a few things and it seems like they just can’t be quite about how good they are. Or they constantly bring up situations in their life trying to gain sympathy.
Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”
It takes a little bit of humility to share with others that you are envious of anyone and if the things you say and do is for recognition, to be noticed or gain sympathy from others because you are trying to obtain some-thing from someone for your own benefit. Mainly because you think you deserve it, and you think you have gotten the raw end of the deal for whatever reason. The first thing that should always come to your mind is “Maybe God put you in the situation for a reason” Or better yet you placed yourself there with a little help from the Devil. . Instead of being self-seeking maybe you should have a lot more humility, be more humble, be quite about your life, situations, and learn the lessons God is trying to show you. That old saying less is more should always apply in a Christian’s life. Scripture says it is just human knowledge, or it is demonic wisdom. We all must understand that you will only walk in the true wisdom of God when you are no longer envious of others and always talking about yourself, your problems, what you do not have, what you have lost, money, home, job, and what is wrong. We should be talking about more about Christ and what he did, his sacrifice, and less about our problems and more about the grace, love, and hope we have in God no matter how crappy our life may be.
Satchel Paige states: “Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”
Okay let’s head back to the playground, like in real life there is always a bully in the playground. This per-son is led by Satan, why? It is not that hard to figure out, he has all the qualities Satan does. He is yes, self-seeking, angry, hateful, always wanting to be first, always wanting to be heard, blaming others when he does wrong. This is why usually children do not play in the playground without supervision. There is some-one there over looking and guarding against wrongful intentions to others. Children usually have a teacher if it is a school playground, when someone gets pushed, hurt, done wrong in any way they step in and point out the wrong and correct them. Parents the same thing, we usually will separate the children and we discipline and explain the wrong that the child has done. If they do not listen and continue and stop being self-seeking then the punishment becomes more severe. Why? So that we can teach the child that when we do wrong there are consequences to our actions. Doesn’t our Father in heaven do the same thing with us in our playground of life? Of course he does!
J. C. Watts stated: ” Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”
In Mark 7: 20 -23 covers it very well; And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
1 Timothy 6:10 states: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Romans 12:17-21 do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Here in these verses God is like the teacher and the parent in the playground. Look, man is flawed no two ways about it. We need our Lord Jesus we are going to stumble and we are going to sometimes fall but Jesus is right there to pick us up and get us back on the right track the one that God needs us on. Just pay attention to the playground for a moment the behavior of all in it. Think about your life and your behavior think about God what he is teaching and how you are to behave. If we self-seek we are going to end up in a not so nice place, out of the will of God, and like many in the playground of life we find our-selves envious, angry, hateful, harming others so we can feel good about ourselves. If you are encountered with a bully in your playground of life, understand it is Satan and he wants you to turn away from God and join the bully! How sad many of us have done just that instead of standing up for what is right no matter the cost. Just do what Romans 12:17-21 you may suffer for it in this world but it is better to just and right in the eyes of God than it is in the eyes of man. When you get pushed in the playground of life do not push back instead let your guardian step in which is our Lord Jesus Christ after all scripture says; Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).
As you sit today and watch the behavior of the children in the park always remember that when children are in a playground without supervision they are subject to all kinds of danger. Take a moment and ask yourself why did God leave behind his word and the Holy Spirit in this playground of life?