Lessons From A Young Child

by The Salvation Army
Categories: Devotional

Isaiah 11:6b – And a little child shall lead them. (NKJV)

Several years ago, I learned two profound lessons from a young girl.

1. When you become aware of a problem, always try to figure out how you can help.

My wife and I had decided to fly from Toronto to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to visit a couple from Zimbabwe who had “adopted” us as grandparents a few years earlier. They had been living in the southern United States but had recently moved to Canada and were living in Winnipeg with their four-year-old daughter.

We chose a midday flight and decided that we would just purchase our lunch on the flight. Much to our surprise, we learned that our chosen carrier had a policy that they served food only if flights were two hours and thirty minutes or longer. The scheduled time for our flight was two hours and twenty-five minutes! We couldn’t even purchase a slice of bread or a cookie!

After arrival in Winnipeg, we settled in to our hotel and invited the young couple and their daughter to join us for dinner. As you would expect, we told the young couple the “terrible” story of having been deprived of food over the lunch hour. The conversation was between four adults, but a little child was listening.

We had a pleasant visit on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday, we met at church, and they were going to take us to the airport for an afternoon return flight to Toronto.

Without speaking to her parents, that little child arose on Sunday morning, obtained a small plastic bag, and put some crackers in it. When asked by her parents why, she said, “So Grandma and Grandpa will have something to eat on their flight back to Toronto!”

Thinking about this, we all realized that not only do we have to be careful when we joke about something, since little ears may be listening, but more profoundly, we should always be thinking about how we can help to solve a problem and not just be an innocent bystander.

2. Be careful how you correct someone’s error.

1 Peter 3:8 – Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous. (NKJV)

This young lady started attending a school where the teacher taught basics one day and then tested the students the next day on the prior day’s teaching. She was very bright and always had the right answers, as did many of the other students.

One day, she was the only one with the correct answers. Apparently, the teacher had erred and handed out a test paper for material that she had not yet taught. Most of us might have fallen into the trap of telling the teacher about her mistake and accepting the plaudits from teacher and fellow students alike. After all, this young girl proved that she was very smart (smarter than the others) because she knew the answers even before the teacher had taught the facts.

However, she chose a different path. She approached the teacher in private and suggested that she might have given out the wrong test paper. When asked why she didn’t tell the teacher in front of all the students, she replied, “I didn’t want to embarrass her.”

This sensitivity to another’s mistake, concurrent with her willingness to forego the praise that could be considered her due, showed a maturity far beyond her years.

Prayer: Father, help us to be like a little child and continue to learn to follow You. Help us to be considerate of others and helpful in all we do. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Vincent Walter
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 – Copyright 2018-2020 by Vince Walter and reprinted with his permission. This devotional first appeared on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional website, www.presbycan.ca