“I am smart”

by Joe Fontenot in Just So You Know

Smart Brain

As I ate breakfast this morning, I worked the pictogram on the back of the cereal box (I still do these things).  And it told me: “I am smart.“

But then, I thought… what if I’m not?

I don’t mean me.  I mean all the kids across the country this morning working the puzzle on the back of this same cereal box.

What happens when they go off to school and are weighed and measured and found to be… not-smart?

Is ‘being smart’ a measure of a child’s worth?

I hope not. When I was a kid, even into college, I was a C’s-get-degrees kind of student.

As the parent of a toddler, I’ve seen a reoccurring theme in kid-TV.  Many of the theme songs focus on the child forming a strong self-image.  They tell the child that they are strong, independent, and able.

And while I think this is healthy and good.  I think it’s only part of the story.

If we set ourselves up to be the standard for what is good or right, then what happens when we find out that we’re not good enough?  Do we just set about ignoring everything that seems to contradict this belief?

I think, instead, there’s a better option.

I think we should teach our kids that their value is found in God. Not in themselves.

This doesn’t neglect self-confidence.  Self-confidence is a normal and healthy part of life.  This view simply puts self-confidence back into its proper place.

This is because we were not created to live for ourselves, but to live for God (Matthew 16:24-26).

God made each of us for a purpose. And whether I’m smart or whether I’m not, my self-worth is still exactly the same!

I’m valuable because of who God is, not because of who I am.

With the never-ending stress from exams, early mornings and peer-pressure, our kids need to be reminded of who they are.

Our relationship with God is not performance-based.  It is grace-based.


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