The Run-Down, Bible-style

I have children.

On the rare occasion that my husband and I might have a date night or scheduling issues that leave a gaping hole, we are left to the only viable option available–the almighty babysitter. And because we don’t usually plan these events in advance or double-check our schedules until the day-of…we, more often than not, have to call everyone on our babysitter list. And inevitably, we end up with the greenest one of the bunch.

So on occasions like this, we need an extra 15-20 minutes to do the run-down:

Bed time is between 8:00 and 8:30.
No large portions of liquid before bedtime, even if they beg you.
Jammies here. Blankies there. Popcorn in this cupboard. Popsicles in the freezer.
If either one of them is inconsolable, a Kidsongs video should do the trick.
This one likes puzzles. That one likes blocks.
Phone numbers on the fridge.
Help yourself to…blah, blah, blah.

No matter how mundane this time might be, these 15 min. of explanations and demonstrations are the most crucial. These details could make or break the entire experience. They could, in fact, jeopordize the chances of this babysitter remaining on the list.

This run-down is the summary of who my children are–their personalities, temperments, likes/dislikes, habits, routines–and the best ways of keeping peace and maintaining decorum while we are away. This run-down is the explanation of our expectations and greatest concerns with our children. It is our way of helping the babysitter perform well and enjoy her job for the evening. And if she does, perform well and enjoy it, the likelihood of job security is good. Furthermore, the payscale is likely to increase and a tip may be forthcoming.

The Bible has a lot of run-downs. Just take a look at any of the Pauline Epistles (any of the -ians: Corinth-ians, Galat-ians, Ephes-ians, etc.) for starters. They all contain lists of adoptable behaviors and those that we would do well to rid ourselves of. We often look at these lists as dos/don’ts, but I tend to look at them as suggestions. I’m not as legalistic as I once was.

Run-downs, they are suggestions to us of what can help us have lives of empowerment and inspiration. We certainly don’t have to stop being jealous and selfish, but if we want more peace of mind we are closer to attaining that peace without the former qualities of jealousy and selfishness. If we want to help others be more joy-filled and loving, we can be more effective if we take to heart the suggestions in scripture and apply them every day. God wants there to be no distractions or unnecessary hurdles in our relationships with others and in our discovery of him.

Like the babysitters for my children, there’s no guarantee that the run-down will make my kids like them more or that my kiddos will behave like angels, but there’s a better chance of it. By abstaining from cursing, drunken parties, making trouble, and arguing–just to name a few–we are not guaranteed blissful and abudantly blessed lives. We aren’t immune to disease, financial struggles, or relationship issues simply because we take seriously the suggestions in God’s Word. But I believe the wisdom behind these suggestions is advantageous to us. Someone knows better than I what works and doesn’t work toward a life infused with godliness, peace, happiness, influence, encouragement, and virtue. I believe that God wants us to enjoy the experience of life on this earth and has given us some tools to help us along the way.

Thanks, God.

If you’re interested, you can find some of the suggestions in the following places: Galatians 5:16-26, 6:7-10; Ephesians 4:2-3, 17-32; Philippians 2:1-4; Colossians 3:5-10. These are by no means the only run-downs in the Bible, nor do they cover all the suggestions found within Scripture, but are a simple start. May the words on the pages come alive to you and speak to you as you seek the Truth behind the suggestions.

Happy Reading!

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