Don’t Stick Your Tongue Out

–Taylor Stichler, October 1, 2021. It’s officially October and that means our kids have been in school for a little over a month now. We have been incredibly blessed to have Charlotte, our daughter, enrolled at Trinity in full day preschool! It’s amazing what kids can learn and pick up so quickly at this age when they start school. We’ve also noticed how quickly Charlotte has picked up a few habits that aren’t so great. Charlotte recently has come home and learned how to stick her tongue out at people. Now, I want to be very clear that it is entirely possible that she learned this by watching cartoons or something else, so it very well could be something she learned on her own. However, she had never stuck her tongue out before and came home knowing this new skill. After talking to some other parents who have kids in Charlotte’s class, we have learned that this isn’t an isolated incident and that their kids have also learned this new skill.

Looking at this as an adult, sticking your tongue out is not even close to the worst thing you could do to someone. But, it is still something we don’t want our kids doing. We had a good conversation with our daughter telling her that sticking your tongue out at other people isn’t nice and it could hurt other people’s feelings. We reminded her that being nice to others and showing them love is really the only way we should treat others. We got to tell her that when we were both kids we had the consequence of either getting our mouths washed out with soap or having hot sauce put on our tongue. Thankfully, we haven’t had to follow through with any of those consequences as it seems like Charlotte has, for the most part, learned to not do it anymore. 

The stories of us getting our mouths washed out with soap or getting hot sauce on our tongue from when we did the same thing seemed to have made an impression on her. She likes to remind us that she won’t do it anymore because she doesn’t want hot sauce in her mouth. She’s also told us that other people who stick their tongue out at her need to get hot sauce on their tongue as well, whether they are kids or adults. During our Red Letter Challenge small group this week, one of our participants wanted to test this out with our daughter. She stuck her tongue out at Charlotte and immediately Charlotte went to our fridge and grabbed our hot sauce and wanted to put it on her tongue. She did a great job of playing along with Charlotte and showing her that there are consequences for our actions. Charlotte found it very funny, but has reminded us every day since then that you don’t stick out your tongue at other people. 

This week we will be diving into our third week of the Red Letter Challenge. We will be focusing on forgiveness. This is going to be a challenge for many of us, me included! I don’t like having to ask for forgiveness and I really don’t like having to give forgiveness to others after they have hurt me. Just like Charlotte now knows, there are consequences for our sin. When we do something to hurt someone else, we don’t deserve forgiveness, we only deserve the consequences. Unfortunately, the consequence for our sin is much worse than hot sauce on the tongue, it’s eternal separation from Christ. Thankfully, we have a Savior who stepped in and took the consequence of our sin for us and forgave us in a way that no one else could! There is no hot sauce in the world that could compare to the pain that Christ suffered for us.

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sin, even though He never sinned. He showed us what true forgiveness is! This week as we dive into forgiveness, be reminded as to why we need forgiveness in the first place. Let’s go into this week with a mindset focused on forgiveness and let’s try to not stick our tongues out at anyone!