I and the Father are one heart and mind. – John 10
My son was in fifth grade when he got into some serious trouble at school. He learned the hard way how important it is to think before you act. His class had gone to choir where there was a substitute teacher. While there, he and some other boys decided to cause trouble and disrespect that teacher. Later in the day he was pulled out into the hallway by the assistant principal who had a conversation with him about his actions. He promised my son that he wouldn’t call his parents because he knew my son was capable and would go back to making good choices in school.
My son had a wonderful fifth grade teacher who loved him and knew he was a good kid. She KNEW that his actions didn’t go along with who he was, so she called me after school because she knew I would want to know what went down that day. My husband and I had to sit our son down and have a conversation about his choices. My son broke down into tears because he didn’t realize that his choices that day not only affected that substitute teacher, but his parents, his fellow students, the assistant principal, and even his regular teacher. That his regular teacher cared enough about him to call us. As punishment for what he had done, we made him write two apology cards. One to the choir teacher and one to his regular teacher. He had to think carefully about the words he would share with both of them and then he had to hand deliver them the next day. He did a super job and learned a valuable lesson about thinking and actions.
Today is the other half of our sheep story. Jesus is teaching the Jews and they are wanting him to come out and admit that he is the Messiah.
Jesus answered, “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life…The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.”
We must learn the lesson my son did way back in fifth grade. We must think about our actions before following through with them. We must think about how our choices will affect other people around us. We must think clearly before following through. Jesus is a great example about thinking and following that with actions. He thinks about what his Father wants and follows through with actions that back up those thoughts.
Jesus said, “I’m only quoting your inspired Scriptures, where God said, ‘I tell you – you are gods.’ If God called your ancestors ‘gods’ – and Scripture doesn’t lie – why do you yell, ‘Blasphemer! Blasphemer!’ at the unique One the Father consecrated and sent into the world, just because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I don’t do the things my Father does, well and good; don’t believe me. But if I am doing them, put aside for a moment what you hear me say about myself and just take the evidence of the actions that are right before your eyes. Then perhaps things will come together for you, and you’ll see that not only are we doing the same thing, we are the same – Father and Son. He is in me; I am in him.”
I am a super emotional person and this is extremely difficult for me. I often act before I fully think about who it will affect. I will often speak before I fully think about who it will affect. Jesus wants us to set aside what we think when we hear people speak and take a moment to look at what their actions say. Jesus himself spoke the truth and backed up that truth with how he acted. What do you see when you put aside what’s coming out of someone’s mouth? You may not agree with everything they speak about. But think about their actions? Are their actions telling you they are a good person filled with love and kindness?
This week take some moments to think about what you speak and how you act. Do the two say the same things about you? Are you like Jesus in speaking your truth and acting that truth out every day? Do the same for others. Even if you disagree with them, take a moment to set that aside and think about their actions in this world. Just because you disagree with the way you think about certain things doesn’t mean you don’t share the same love of kindness in your actions. You may not be so different from each other after all!