Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Father We Thank Thee"1 (Lyrics)
John 8:32 – And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (ESV)
Zoë is my eldest daughter from my second marriage, and she will be ten years old in the summer. Along with her younger sister Sophia, they are at a Church of England primary school where I am a Vision and Values governor. Every term, we promote a Christian value. This term's value has been truthfulness.
It seems to me that this is an attention-grabbing value for young people in modern times, for when used by adults, it appears to have become a more distant and blatantly feeble version of God's original intention.
Let me make it clear: we all tell lies. It is a developmental part of growing up. Sooner or later, we face up to the significance of lying. So, it is just a matter of how big it is, and whether it is blatant, expedient, supportive, or polite: It's okay for me to take everyday office supplies. You look great! I love you. I'm fine. Of course, I will. Just a moment. Let me call you back straight away. And so it goes on.
As I am often in the school office, I had an envelope given to me recently, passed on from Zoë's classroom teaching assistant. Inside was a copy of Zoë's work in class. Later, I met the classroom aide, and she was extremely effusive about how Zoë had answered the question for a written prayer.
The Personal Social and Health Education class was given the following as a reflective starter to write a prayer for assembly:
- We thank You for the peace we feel when we are truthful and the way You trouble us inside when we tell lies. Give us Your courage to be honest whatever the cost.
My oversight on behalf of the school as a Vision and Values governor made me read and re-read it more carefully the second time, and I noticed the use of "Your". It is loaded with godly insight.
Zoë and I often reflect upon God's input on our lives and the world around us. I help to shine the light as best I can, but now I see that all my children have understanding and awareness of God through Jesus. Her answer to the assignment was as follows:
- T – Tell us we are wrong when we lie
R – Remind us that we should be honest
U – Unite us with friends we lost from fibbing
T – Temptation to lie can be stopped
H – Hold us close to You when it is hard
Anyway, I thought that there is more than enough for us to grapple with today from the openness of a young child dealing with life and truth. Where are we?
Prayer: Lord, we thank You that You always love us, even when we get it wrong and we are weak or fearful in the company of others, or even You. Thank You for Your restorative justice that wants to bring us back to the narrow path, and where possible, to show us how we can undo the harm of sin, that Your light may overcome the darkness of negative emotions. Grant us Your courage to seek to mend our friendships when they have gone wrong. Please show us where You have for us to go today. May we let Your light be in us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.