Sometimes we learn hard lessons. It’s difficult to let our children learn from the consequences of their actions, but those are often the best remembered lessons our children will learn! Below is a lesson you can read with your children in order to begin a discussion about learning from consequences and superficial behavior. I hope it’s helpful to you and your children!
Janee Gets Super Embarrassed: A Lesson about Superficial Behavior, Friendship, and Compassion!
What started out as a great night ended so horribly that Janee figured she’d remember it ‘til she dies. She’d finally gotten invited to the party of her dreams at Latisha’s. Latisha had a pool with a Jacuzzi and a huge back yard. Janee had been trying for months to wiggle into Latisha’s crowd. Most of the kids had pools and finished basements, which meant every weekend night was like a party–even in the winter. Janee’s mom had bought her a new bathing suit with a matching cover-up. Janee saved up and got her nails done.
But at the party, she still felt more like the invisible girl than she’d hoped to—until she remembered her 3rd grade diving lessons where she had learned to do a jackknife. She tried one, thinking it would be like riding a bike. But she clipped the board on the way down, banged her nose, got blood in the pool, and the parents made everyone get out to “shock” the bloody water with bleach. Latisha’s dad wasn’t happy. “Just what I need…a lawsuit,” he said. The next day, the diving board had been removed from the pool, and all the kids in school were calling Janee “the stupid klutz that ruined our best pool.”
Janee walked around gritting her teeth all day, saying, “Why, God? Why did you let me miss that easy dive??”
Scriptures to help understand what happened: Mark 4:19, Matthew 16:26, James 2:2-6
In what way was God involved with Janee’s accident? (rate the answers; the best answer would be #1; the least likely answer #4)
____ Not at all. She was looking too hard to get attention, and she klutzed out.
____ Jesus said in Matthew 19:34, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Hence God caused the accident to keep Janee from associating with condemned people.
____ God merely allowed the accident. If Janee weren’t so intent on getting attention for the wrong reasons, it wouldn’t have happened.
____ God was merely watching from far off. Janie had already turned her back on Him by chasing after money (or people with money), so He had no interest in the situation.
Janee had a klutzy moment. We’ve all had them. As for God’s involvement, was He a passive observer, the cause, or a participant on some level? There are actually many instances in the Bible when God brings judgment on His people; in fact, it’s a continuous theme in the Old Testament.
The Jews began to misbehave; God told them He would punish them; they plunged into idolatry anyway; bad things happened; they repented and become good again…for a while. However, God’s punishments were always preceded by really bad behavior of the Jews.
Our job is to keep our own motives pure. Janee wanted to get in their crowd for the pools and parties, for the prestige rather than the good company. James 2:1-6 warns against favoring the rich. It’s likely that she got excited and had a klutzy moment. God used the natural consequences of her actions to remind her that choosing friends for the wrong reasons is superficial—and hurtful to the kids, as nobody likes feeling “used.”
In what way was God involved with Janee’s accident? (3rd option is best): God merely allowed the accident. If Janee weren’t so intent on getting attention for the wrong reasons, it wouldn’t have happened.