Thursday, June 11, 2015

Size Doesn't Matter

I've heard many people say "I'm too young" or "I don't know enough" when it comes to teaching people about God. I've heard many say "I don't have the resources." Or "I'm not a pastor."

The thing is, however, teaching about God doesn't require you being within a certain age range, education range, or income range. Nor does it require a special title attached to your name, or collar around your neck. Now... before people hang me for heresy, please understand that in no way am I negating the importance of Church, or of having educated ministers teaching us. I am simply attempting to point out that each one of us can also teach about Christ.

The most important lesson within the Bible is that God loves us; and, the greatest commandment we're given by Jesus, is that we love one another as He has loved us. Most children even know this - or, at least know some form of this (i.e. "treat others as you would want to be treated"... which yes, isn't quite the same, but hopefully you understand what I'm getting at).

Teachers of God's Love

Recently, I saw two different stories on Facebook which made me look back on my own life, and the people who made big impacts on showing me God's love. Most of these people were either young, or poor, or lacked a professional biblical education (or had no education when it came to Christianity/the Bible). And yet those in my personal life were instrumental in helping me grow spiritually; just as those in the stories I've read/watched were instrumental in helping teach others about love.

Take, for instance, the 9 year old who planted a garden to help those without food, and built a shelter for a homeless man. Or what about a group of 5th grade boys who recognized injustice and bullying happening to a fellow classmate, and befriended him? These young children didn't hesitate to reach out to those they saw in need. They reached out in love, changing the lives of two people, and probably also changing the lives of their families and communities who witnessed these selfless acts.

For me, there was a young boy (my brother) who always showed that love - to me, and to others. He always reached out in love. He always tried to help when he could, however you could. Even though he was six years younger than me, I learned more from him about love than I did from my own parents, educators, ministers, etc.

There was also a family I grew close to when I was a teenager - a woman, three of her children, and her granddaughter, living in a small trailer. They did not have a lot of money/resources, but always had their door open for "strays". These "strays" were young adults who had no home, teenagers estranged from their family, people who just needed a roof over their head. This family not only provided the roof and other basic necessities, they provided love. They provided friendship. They sat up all hours of the night being a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear - providing love, hope, comfort, peace - things money can not buy.

Even today, I'm close to a few people who have little monetarily - but have huge hearts. They're always willing to lend a hand, or a shoulder, no matter what it is or when it is. They've reminded me that it isn't about what you own, or how you dress, or how many children you have, or what your 'status' in the community is - we're all loved and accepted by God. And they taught this simply by being that example - by being loving and accepting.

Requirements for Teaching God's Love

So the next time you feel you're not equipped to teach about God - take a moment to think about those in your life who taught you the invaluable lesson of God's love. Were all these people old? Rich? Well educated? Pastors? Some, perhaps, but I'm going to guess that not all of them were. God uses everyone - big and small, old and young, rich and poor, educated and uneducated - to teach His love... we just need to be willing to reach out with that love towards others.

That is the only requirement for teaching - a willingness to love.

God bless.

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