“See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.” 1 Thess. 5:15
“Think what a better world it would be if we all —the whole world—had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap.” These were the imaginings of Robert Fulghum, the author of the book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” While I have not researched the topic in-depth, I think the United States may be one of the few countries not committed to naps. If this is true, then, it would appear the world needs more than naps to be better.
My commitment to naps began a long time ago. I discovered the need while struggling to stay awake while visiting members of my congregation in the afternoon. For the longest time, though, I felt guilty about lying down for ten minutes. Then I discovered research confirmed the benefits of a discipline learned in Kindergarten. Short afternoon naps help restore alertness, prevents burnout, and heightens sensory perception. In short, naps make you more productive. They also reduce your risk of heart disease. (5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day)
Years ago, when I read Fulgham’s book, I thought it interesting, but maybe too oversimplified in its approach to be taken seriously. Today, perhaps he was on to something. A lesson we could all use. Paul’s letter reads like instructions a Kindergarten teacher would give to their class. It is as though I can hear my teacher saying, “Now class, remember to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them.” Yes, Mrs. Johnson.
Think for a moment what your Kindergarten teacher would say about the behaviors of the adults in our lives, both public and private. The public spectrum is an easy target. They are always on display. Every day we watch a three-ring performance of the worst circus I’ve ever seen. The insanity of it all is incredibly depressing. But what about us? How do we, who remain out of the limelight, act towards each other? Would your Kindergarten teacher approve of your behavior?
Paul writes, “Do not repay evil for evil.” Evil is such a heavy word. What if we just said, do not hit each other. Do not take things that are not yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. It reminds me of the Ordinary Voices podcast interview with Chad Palmquist, an elementary school teacher. When asked how to fight evil, he responded, “Be nice.” Could it be that simple? It sure sounds like Paul thinks so.
Click to read: 1 Thessalonians 5: 12-24
- What was your favorite Kindergarten experience?
- How did those simple lessons create life?
- What is the difference between being nice and being passive?
- How can you fight evil by being nice?