Chapter 7: As A Child

January 25, 2007

Have you wondered when Jesus realized He was different from other kids? We know he knew to some extent at age 12 what His mission would be, but kids don’t generally think about their thinking (meta cognate). In light of such curiosities, I found this chapter to be quite mysterious. Today I will pick some gems from the chapter and respond to each with one question.

1. “He manifested a patience that nothing could disturb.” DA59

Are children or adults more patient?

2. “That which was regarded as superior education was the greatest hindrance to real development. Under the training of the rabbis the powers of the youth were repressed.” DA60

Is Montessori the solution?

3. “Continually He was seeking to draw from things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God.” DA61

Can you think of physical objects or events in our modern society which could be powerful illustrations for spiritual truth?

4. “Temptation, poverty, adversity, is the very discipline needed to develop purity and firmness.” DA62

Do you think our core American Christian belief that adversity is bad or evil has obstructed our development of virtue?

5. “The more quiet and simple the life of the child,–the more free from artificial excitement, and the more in harmony with nature,–the more favorable is it to physical and mental vigor and to spiritual strength.” DA65.

So which do you think should go first: TV, computer games, the Internet, or the iPod?

And finally, you’ve got to read the section on page 64 of how the songs of Jesus were to his co-workers like therapy and the sweet smell of incense. Don’t forget to sing to your coworkers today.

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5 Responses to “Chapter 7: As A Child”

  1. Steve said

    So this is the first chapter of Ellen White’s I’ve ever read…
    I’ve never given much thought to what it must have been like for Jesus as a child. I imagine a happy child who found joy in learning from His mother. I wonder what it must have been like for Him to communicate with His Father – what they talked about – how God taught His Son. Imagine if children would listen to every word of their parents as intently as Jesus listened to His Father!
    Now my thoughts on your questions:
    1. I think that patience is learned. It is aquired through experience and maturity.
    2. Teach love, then religion I think. Children need to know how Jesus lived His life. He’s the ultimate mentor. Religious education can be taught later on.
    3. We’re still trying to understand the complexity of the human body – the minute chemical reactions in the cell membranes that allow us to continue to exist. So many billions of cells with billions of atoms each acting with perfect synergy – and it happened by accident? Give me a break! We will never fully comprehend the complexity of ourselves – and that is a finite quantity! How can anyone doubt that we were designed?
    4. In the military, we used to call anything that was miserable, arduous, tedious, or painful “character building”
    5. Does anyone else think that technology has caused a gargantuan change in the attitudes of youth in the last 20 years? I know I’m not that old, but even when I was growing up – before computers were in every household, we found other ways to entertain ourselves – and kids still respected (even feared) adults. I’m sure every generation sees a change in the next but things seem to have really changed in my short time on this planet.

    Well that’s my 2 pence… take it or leave it.

  2. wallygoots said

    I’m glad you ventured into this chapter, Steve. As you have kids of your own, I really value your perspective. There has been little written about the first 30 years of Jesus’ life.

    As far as patience. Doesn’t it seem from this chapter that Jesus has patience built in, or did He learn it? I agree that patience is learned through trials, and maybe Jesus could have learned without becoming impatient.

    As far as using the human body to convey spiritual lessons–think rock climbing! But your right, and God has been doing this since the pre-fall. It doesn’t get more symbolically meaningful than sexuality. But what would Jesus pull from modern science and technology for his parables if on the earth today?

    Arduous, miserable, tedious as “character building” huh? So Calculus is doing me good. But I sense that doing something hard or painful is not lauded by society as “character building.” So the whole next generation is all about avoiding arduous, miserable, and tedious. Is it the fault of technology, media, schools, or religion that has preached comfort and ease?

    Again, I’m realizing that Ellen White can both thrill and deeply challenge me from one statement to the next. I found it difficult to think about some of her statements about the boy Jesus because it really seems like He was wired on a higher plain. Does this make his perfection less amazing?

    My 2 colones.

  3. Jan said

    The sentence in this chapter that I have thought most about was “the experience which is obtained through a personal acceptance of God’s word had no place in the educational system.” How tragic if that could still be said of Christian schools today! To have education focused on simply knowing God better, whether it be through Science, Math, or reading…for that to be the underlying pulse of each child’s day; whether at home or at school. What a goal!

    At the same time, I heard a report about a school that a Fundamentalist Christian Family is challenging and not allowing them to show an “Inconvenient Truth” because they didn’t show the other side. And what is the other side, you ask? They wanted it taught that God was destroying the world, because of man’s corruption. How do Christians expect to be taken seriously when they make charges like that?

    I learned a new phrase this week “Progress, Not Perfection.” I loved that…and that is what I think we must continue asking God to help us make: Progress!

    So on that thought, I need to work on preparing for some kids tomorrow..pray with me that I will truly show them Jesus, not just entertain.

    Steve; In response to your point on number 3. Have you read Fearfully and Wonderfully Made or In His Image by Phillip Yancey and Paul Brand? Truly marvelous books on that subject…they are indeed some of my favorites.

    Momo

  4. wallygoots said

    Hey Mom-o,

    So nice to hear that God is using our pollutin’ ways to punish the world for it’s moral corruption. Indeed an inconvenient truth.

    But seriously, how could I structure math to emphasis knowing God? And should I, or is relationships outside of Math class (and how I treat people in class) enough? As much as I want to bring Christ into the curriculum–and I’m sure many schools have mission statements that say just that–I think it’s more about bring Christ into the classroom in the vessel of my own heart rather than trying to learn algebra from the Bible. Kind of like, wanting to witness, but until God made major changes to my heart, I didn’t have anything to say.

  5. Jan said

    Knowing God does not have to be in the subject, but it has to be in the teacher.

    That is what you did, from my observations, in Eugene..and is, I am sure, what you are doing in Sylvan. I truly believe that the enemy of true education delighted in the fiasco that silenced your voice. May this forum reach some of those very students…

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