Think about it… is there another period of life in which you’re “measured” or “graded” as much as you are in childhood?
Kids are frequently measured for height, weight, and even shoe size. Kids receive grades based upon their gifting or effort in certain classes. If kids do really well, they’ll get an “A”; average only gets them a “C”. Kids also find themselves frequently trying out for sports teams, theater or vocal parts, and even for student council and Homecoming Court. It’s often these experiences that end up defining our confidence.
How do you think our childhood experiences impact the way we relate to our Heavenly Father?
I think all of this “measuring” is a part of growing up and maturing, and ultimately feels like a necessity, and yet I’ve been pondering how this impacts our relationship with the Heavenly Father and how we hear His voice.
As you all have probably observed, I learn a lot about our Heavenly Father from my kids and I’ve been pondering these very questions with them. Recently, our family has been ending our evenings sharing with each other how we have heard God’s voice that day. It’s been enlightening and a great exercise for many reasons:
- We are training our hearts to hear from God daily. Whether it’s something we hear while looking at God’s creation, something we read in scripture, or something we hear in the many different ways God can communicate to our hearts, I believe God is frequently speaking to us, and it is good for us to train ourselves to seek God’s voice.
- When we share with each other, then we are able to help each other to distinguish whether what we are hearing is God’s voice or the voice of the evil one. Is what you are hearing uplifting, encouraging, enlightening, convicting? Or is what you are hearing discouraging, frightening, confusing, condemning? Sometimes we need to help each other differentiate God’s voice from the many other voices that try to lead us astray.
- God’s voice should shape us and direct us more than any other influence in this world. With the constant “measuring” and “grading” we all navigate on a daily basis, sharing God’s voice with each other should ultimately lead us toward freedom, security, and love, instead of insecurity, shame, and bondage.
God’s voice to us is never a voice of measuring, comparing, or condemning. God is a God of love, and His voice will lead you toward freedom. If the voice you are hearing doesn’t sound like love, then you are not hearing from Him.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)