One of the chief jobs of a parent is to help their children learn two hand motions and to teach them in such a way that they become reflexive and habitual. Not seeing this, many well-intentioned parents realize too late that they are failing. So many of our friends are watching in horror as their children leave the faith.
The first hand motion is that of living with your palms up before God. The second is to live arms outstretched to man. The prophet Micah described these two hand motions: “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
When you live palms up, you are in a posture of worship and receiving. When a person lifts their arms before the Lord, they assume a posture of submission, of defenselessness. When bandits are told to surrender, the cop says, “Come out with your hands up.”
It is the human equivalent of when a dog rolls over on his back and shows his stomach. It is a very practical stance that states the obvious: “You’re more powerful than I am – I won’t fight you.” The defense mechanisms in us inhibit the response to our master that is built in naturally to dogs.
To teach a child or any other disciple to live palms up, you must first model the hand motion. Ask yourself, “Am I living in such a way that my disciple can see with her spiritual eyes that my palms are up before my maker? Do I cling to anything? Do I regularly surrender decisions to the Lord?
Secondly, you must model and teach the response to life of gratitude. Welcome everything life brings you with “thank you.” Never complain. Complaining reverses all the good that a thank you generates.
Subscribe to Radical Living:
Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.