When my youngest son was in elementary school, he had a “tendency” to erase holes in his school papers. WHY? You ask. Well, because he is a perfectionist. (not sure WHERE that comes from [cough]) It got so bad when he was in the first grade that he spent some time in “counseling.”
He improved considerably, with the exception of art.
A little background:
Both of my boys are very smart, ok? (hey, I have ‘braggin’ rights!) THIS one in particular was a straight-A student and is a “frequent flyer” in the “Exemplary!” rating in state assessments. (We have amazing schools!)
Anyway, when it comes to art – his grade was an “S” (They don’t give letter grades in art – “S” is for “Satisfactory”)
I taught preschool for a few years, and one of our biggest goals was to allow the children to be creative in their own way, and to praise them for whatever their “way” was. Even if “their way” was simply a line across the paper.
My son’s art teacher, however, had a much different “philosophy.” She was one of those that provides the example of the “project” for the students and the closer they get to the example, the better their grade.
With that in mind, perhaps you can see what a problem this presented for my son. Many times, he didn’t even FINISH the project – oftentimes, he couldn’t even start!
The problem? The teacher helds everyone up to the same “standard.”
I think we, as Christians, have a habit of doing the same.
When “judgment day” comes, I am relatively certain that one thing we will NOT be “judged” on is how we lived up to someone else’s standard.
Jesus was quite clear on judging:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” [Matthew 7:1]
How often do we prevent another from finishing their “project,” or worse, prevent them from even starting because of the “standards” (judgment) by which WE are holding them up to?
If it is on your heart to lead people to Christ (Truth), would it not be more effective to walk WITH them, holding their hand, rather than walk behind them holding a whip?
© All Rights Reserved (originally written 9 June 2009)