Friday, January 3, 2014

How did Jesus influence, inspire, and motivate the world?

I was reminded this morning as I was trying to sleep...of a post a friend made on fb on July 5th about what the Bible means to "train up a child in the way he should go"...

Yesterday I did a bit of study on Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it." The verse contains only 6 words, which takes 21 English words to describe.

TRAIN UP = dedicate, initiate, commence using, instruct, train up imbue [imbue means to inspire or influence thoroughly]. The root pictures a narrowing/neck, or the jaw, also to put something in the mouth, metaphorically: tasting.

KJV translates it elsewhere 4 X as "dedicate" and only this one time as "train up".

A CHILD = boy, lad, servant, youth. Usually used to refer to a child, though used in this verse about baby Moses: "And when she had opened [it], she saw the child [child/son/boy/offspring/youth] and, behold, the babe [boy/lad/servant/youth] wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This [is one] of the Hebrew children. [child/son/boy/offspring/youth]

IN THE WAY = way, road, distance, journey, manner.

HE SHOULD GO = mouth. The word portrays a sense of blowing, breathing, an opening. Translated elsewhere as commandment, edge, according.

AND WHEN HE IS OLD = to be old, to become old – "like an old man with his chin hanging down"

HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT = turn aside, depart, cause to depart, withdraw

I was fascinated by the translation of the word "mouth" to "he should go". To me it's saying "Influence a boy’s journey from his first breath and in old age he won’t withdraw." Which is quite the complete opposite of the Pearl's message."

Imagine. What if all Christian parents raised their sons from their first breath in such a way as to inspire them to not want to deviate from God? What if all the fathers...inspired their children to follow God from their 1st breaths? What a world that would be!

As parents, for some reason, we never seem to think that what we are really trying to do is "influence", "inspire", and "motivate" our children. We seem to forget that we aren't trying to train mules, create robots, or program computers that will do whatever we want. We are actually working to influence our children so that they will freely choose to stay on that good path. We want them to want to make good and healthy free-will choices for the rest of their lives.

We can "lay down the law" and make our kids do what we want...but if you are forced to do something, you aren't making a choice. This is why our job is really to influence, inspire, and motivate our children, because we know that our children must freely choose God and we can't "make" them do that.

There are tons of books out there that can teach you how to be better at influencing, inspiring, and motivating people, right? Books on how to be a better sales person...books on how to motivate your employees, and so forth. 

And, thing're not going to find a book or attend a seminar on how to influence, inspire, or motivate people which will advise you to hurt, threaten, isolate, humiliate or hit the people you're trying to influence.
Yet, if you open just about any Christian child-training book this is the primary way they advise you to relate to your children.

Sadly, there really is nothing in books by all the Christian child-rearing "experts" out there that get you to think of your job as a parent as influence, inspiration, and motivation...but rather...these "experts" advise you to basically "make" your kids do right and they'll get used to doing things that way and will keep on doing it. But, forcing someone to do what's right...does that create a good person? Is an "obedient" person "good" or are they simply "obedient?" And, if your child is being forced to do good because they fear the pain you will give them if they do not do what you tell them to...they aren't freely choosing that path, are they?

Not only that, but, all of us who are old enough to be in the position to be spanking children know what it's like to have bosses and people over us. If the people over us were to use pain, threats, isolation, humiliation, and assault to try to influence us to be better spouses, employees, volunteers or church members...the only thing it would inspire and motivate us to do would be to run away and report them to the police!

If a book that is aimed at advising me on how to influence and inspire others to do what's good and right is truly God approved, we would be able to look at the New Testament and see Jesus doing the same bits of advice...true?

So, look at the New Testament...look at how Jesus lived. Jesus upset lots of people with the way He much so that they ended up killin' Him, right? And, how did He live? More people were influence, inspired, and motivated by His life than any other human being ever, right? His influence, inspiration, and motivation didn't just affect those He was directly connected to but His influence, inspiration and motivation rippled out across the centuries and the whole world. 

How did He do it? 

Did Jesus hurt, threaten, isolate, humiliate and assault anyone? Ever?

What did Jesus do? Really, look at that. Examine that. HOW did He do it? 

Jesus managed to influence, inspire, and motivate the entire world and to put people on the path toward heaven...and can influence, inspire, and motivate your household to head toward that same goal if you do as He did...

Again, sadly, the world has this whole influencing/inspiring/motivating thing figured out way better than the church does... 

Luke 16:8
for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.

Romans 2:1-5
Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God...

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