Proverbs 15:2, The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
I remember when Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend were here at Mount Pisgah UMC with Ken Blanchard as we hosted a worldwide broadcast of the Lead Like Jesus movement. I found myself sitting between Patrick Lencioni and John Ortberg and was thinking, “How cool is this?” Cloud and Townsend had just finished collaborating on their book “Boundaries,” which has sold several million copies. Maybe you have read it. If not, I highly recommend it for teens and adults.
Their tagline for the work was really appealing: When to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life. In an age and culture of nano-technology that is hyped to be labor saving, their concepts really appeared to those who were buried with busyness. Being addicted to saying yes is no fun.
Being busy is not a problem unless it compromises your time and relationship with God, family, children and Sabbath…ok, now that we have established that being busy is a problem, we can begin to understand the dilemma we face in really thinking through and counting the costs of our yes’s and no’s. If you think it’s a problem for us, think about our students.
In the Hebrew learning culture (where the onus of learning was placed on the teacher), time was strategically allotted for critical thinking including moral reasoning. Our students live in a why world, if you don’t believe it just have a conversation with them. The work of Piaget and then the continued work of Kohlberg teach us that the moral reasoning capabilities of a child/youth are critically formed as they have time to understand the why between right and wrong, which strongly effects the owning of their yes’s and their no’s. Take time to understand what alleviates more conflict and stress than virtually any other human activity. Join me today in praying for all of those who make up our student ministries that we would say no to the busyness that impedes real growth and learning, and say yes to the bandwidth of time allotted for critical thinking and moral reasoning to be shaped. Praise be to God, we will all be better for it.