I was horrified
Last year Mady, when she was in the second grade, came home and said she told her teacher a joke that day.
She had asked her teacher, “Do you know who bugs me?” Her teacher replied, “No, who?” Mady answered, “Teachers trying to act like owls.”
I was horrified she would be so rude and disrespectful. I asked her, “Mady, why would you say that to your teacher?” Her defense was that it was just a joke.
Simply a reflection
At the same moment she was replying, though, I realized she was doing what I have trained her to do.
That particular joke I had not trained her to tell, but our family jokes around a lot. There is a great deal of teasing that goes on and a high degree of sarcasm. She was simply reflecting at school, the culture of our home.
The actions of my kids have revealed my traits and character. It is a peculiar rebuke when I have to discipline my kids for talking in a manner I know they learned from me. Ouch!
God has designed life to work this way. What a gift it is to be able to see who I am by what I am producing. It is quite a reality check.
After its kind
This is the way God has designed life. Everything produces after its kind.
A repeated phrase found in the creation narrative in Genesis 1 is “according to their kinds” (verses 11,12, 22, 24, and 25). The design of nature is that everything produces after its kind. We reap what we sow. The crop produced is a result of what was planted.
If you plant apple seeds, you don’t get pears; you get apples. This is true of plants, trees, animals, traits, finances, organizations, or relationships. This works for good and bad, for producing healthy things and unhealthy. This is one of God’s laws.
This law applies to your church or particular ministry, as well. For good or bad, positively or negatively, the results you see are by design. Andy Stanley puts it this way, “Your ministry is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently experiencing.” Everything produces according to its kind.
At some point we have to stare results in the face and own them. I have to admit that my kid is acting rudely because I am so sarcastic with her. Everything reflects its kind. Whatever I have or don’t have, am experiencing or not experiencing is by design.