“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26
My middle child, Mason, is highly sensitive. The upside of that is he is incredibly thoughtful, loving, and gentle. The challenge of that is he is hard to correct and discipline. No matter how delicately I try to point out his mistakes, he is devastated. Rather than hearing me talk about the bad choice he has made, he interprets it that he is a bad person. It’s like walking through a minefield!
His little sister Jocelyn shares a lot of his personality traits. The older she gets, the more I find myself giving her the same exact lectures and lessons that I give Mason.
Something really interesting has happened recently. Out of the corner of my eye I have seen Mason, on several occasions, stop what he was doing to listen to me disciplining Jocelyn. Even more interesting is the fact that some of the chronic issues that I’ve been trying to help him work on for months, have suddenly disappeared. Lo and behold, they are the same issues that have reared their ugly heads with Jocelyn!
Where Mason shuts downs and hears white noise when I am addressing him for his issues, his ears open wide when I’m dealing with Jocelyn. Of course, part of it is human nature: he’s secretly thrilled that it’s his sister who is being corrected and not him. But I think it’s bigger than that.
They say that God is always sending us teachers and messages: that He works through everyone and everything. I strongly believe that. In fact, I think He’s been doing this for Mason lately.
I’m learning that Mason learns better when he sees his own flaws in someone else. When the focus is not on him, he doesn’t have to use all his energy to protect his fragile ego. Instead, he’s able to remain open, make the connection with his own flaws, and hear and absorb the lesson.
It’s surprising that I haven’t figured this out sooner about him because I’m exactly the same way. In fact, I jut got my own character flaw correction yesterday. I received an email from a friend that hurt my feelings. When I identified what she did that bothered me, it became glaringly obvious to me that I do the same thing to others, clueless that it could be hurtful. It took being the recipient of that action for me to finally see and absorb the lesson that I should have learned years ago.
Although both Mason and I have a long way to go to become the people God envisions us to be, it consoles me to know that He will continue to guide us and teach us on the path to getting there. Our job is to remain open to the lessons. More importantly, our job is to remain open to whatever, or whomever, He chooses to use as His teachers.
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