The Cost of Character

Did you hear about the boy who got an invoice for missing a birthday party? Yep, it’s a true story. Five year old Alex had agreed to attend Charlie’s party last weekend at a local ski hill.

But on the day of the party decided he would rather go to visit his grandparents. So Charlie’s parents sent an invoice for 25 dollars for a no-show. According to the media that’s when things got nasty between the mothers on Facebook. Now there’s talk about going to small claims court. The online debate over the matter is majorly heated at the moment.

It’s hard to comment on a situation like this without knowing all the details. It’s not like I need to pick a side or anything. What’s most unfortunate about this situation is the attitude and behavior of the parents, both sets. For better or worse, parents are the first role models we have in life. We’ll probably never really understand the full impact our parents have on us. But in handling this situation both sets of parents are modelling some very unhealthy behavior for their children.

I don’t mean to pick on the parents. I know it’s the toughest job in the world. It’s easy to lose perspective and want to fight for what we think is right. As I read the about the story it just reminded me that I need to be careful about what I model to my children and others.

Paul makes it clear in Galatians 5. The fruit of the spirit is “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” These are the qualities that Christians should be known for.

Our children are watching how we handle pressure, how we respond to disappointment and how we treat others. We aren’t always going to get it right, no one ever does. But we can pray for the Spirit to keep producing that fruit so that we are able to model Christ-like character to the world around us.

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