Our best behavior

Chris’s account appears in June 2013 French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese
editions of The Herald of Christian Science.

Right after Christmas vacation last year, my school named me class leader based on my grades and my behavior, although I am the youngest pupil in my class. I have to confess that in the beginning I had serious problems. It was my duty to keep discipline in the class whenever the teacher was not there. But my classmates did not obey me at all, knowing that I was the youngest. I even received threats from some of them.

After some time, I talked about this to my father. He reminded me of something my Sunday School teacher had told us: “Always see your friends and classmates as kind, loving, obedient, intelligent, without flaws.” Because that is how God made them and all of us. My dad asked me to think about this part of the definition of children that Mary Baker Eddy gives in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love” (p. 582). I also knew that Jesus loved children. In the Bible he once told his disciples: “Allow little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16, The King James 2000 Version).

From that moment on, my thoughts about my classmates changed. I realized kids have qualities that Jesus appreciated. And Jesus asked others to appreciate them, too. So, every day before going to school, I prayed for myself and my class, so we could see each other as loving, obedient, intelligent, and not aggressive. I worked on understanding that we are all God’s children. And because we are God’s children, we know only Truth and Love. No one is bad, annoying, and disruptive. I sometimes shared with my classmates the good ideas I was learning in Sunday School. And little by little, they started listening to me when I asked them to behave. The bad behavior disappeared and all the good qualities of God’s children started to come out. At the end of the school year, we were all on our best behavior, and we were all accepted into the next grade.

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