Monday, March 12, 2012

Unfair Labels

I'm sharing today's installment of this devotional by Daily Focus.  I receive daily installments via email about leaning on God through the homeschool experience. I left the link to subscribe if you're interested in the encouragement they provide.

 We have been the recipient of some comments already in our education decision. We are obeying this call on the direction for our family. God has a different calling for each family.  I know it's not for everyone and I don't judge others who chose a different path. Some comments other make  in a casual off handed manner intending to be funny can cut others. The comment made can be rooted in misunderstanding, lack of knowledge and casual observations or isolated negative incidents with the subject at hand. Comments may reflect a different set of priorities, values, experience or perspectives. How comments effect those around us is not about a thick verses thin skin. It's about compassion, empathy, honor, respect and love for each other. Criticisms, judgement and negativity are not fruits of the spirit. Yes, Jesus made laughter, joy, humor and celebrating. If any action or speech is at the expense of someone else's dignity or values, it's never from God. His rules for treating others are clear and best.

Unfair LabelsMarch 12, 2012
What labels have been placed on your children because they homeschool? During our years of homeschooling, my children faced innuendos that ranged from mental retardation to religious fanatic. Today, the media still portrays homeschoolers as naive, unfashionably dressed nerds. Even though studies prove the contrary, public educators also insist that homeschoolers are deprived of proper socialization. Why does the word "homeschooling" bring out such nastiness in people?

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Unfair labels are nothing new. When Christ lived on Earth, He suffered from being misunderstood by the multitudes, Jewish leaders, and even His friends and family. Unfair labels like trouble maker, demon possessed, and foolish fanatic were placed on Him as He told the world about the Kingdom of God and His love. Although the label placed above Christ's head on the cross was intended to mock Him, it was the one label the world got right when it read, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS" (Luke 23:38b).

So, how do you live in a negative, anti-homeschooling world and not become negative yourself? As Christian homeschoolers, we seem to receive a double whammy from the world — unfair labels for our faith and unfair labels for our homeschooling. As hurtful as these labels can be, Christ can help us forgive and move beyond the painful remarks when they come. Jesus' example of love on the cross showed us the way when He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:24).
Lord, strengthen me to stand against the world's opinion of homeschoolers. Teach me to love as You loved when You died on the cross. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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