We were approaching the twenty minute mark.  A show down of sorts.  His lanky third grade self twisted up in the corner, head buried in his folded forearms in a potent blend of anger and shame. 

“Can we talk about what happened now?”

I had been checking in every five minutes or so to see if he was ready to talk about the behavior that landed him in time out in the first place.

He didn’t move a muscle, but a faint and muffled grumble escaped from the tangle of arms and legs and face.  

“It’s not fair.  I didn’t do nothin’!   He was messin’ with me first!”

I sank down to my knees, so we could  talk eye-to-elbow (and maybe, just maybe, he would uncross his arms eventually). 

“Well, he may need to apologize too, it’s true, but you have a responsibility as well.”

His arms uncrossed, and a fiery gaze emerged from the cavern of gangly limbs. 

“This is bigger than just ‘he was messin’ with me’.  God wants us to love other people the way we want to be loved.  The way you act helps people see how much God loves them.  This is why it’s so important to be kind to others…even when they’re messing with you.”

The boy balked. 

God doesn’t love the bad guys….”

Read the rest over at Transformation City Church.

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