We were out bowling with friends when Callie came running over to me in a panic. “Mom, they are telling a secret about me.”
Adrian and I called the boys over and asked what this secret was about. Cole reluctantly explained to us that he did indeed share a secret with his younger brother that he didn’t want Callie to hear. He explained that since it was Callie’s first time to bowl, he wanted to let Callie win the game. The big secret he shared with his brother was a plan to lose on purpose so Callie would have the opportunity to win.
Wow! What a secret!
Cole is wise beyond his years! As my friend Brandi says, we think we are teaching our kids, but they are often the ones teaching us. Cole is a wonderful example of what I’ve been trying to teach Callie! He’s a great example of what I’ve been trying to teach myself.
True joy in life isn’t when WE win. It’s in letting OTHERS win! It’s not about us being in the limelight. It’s cheering on others when THEY are in the limelight. True happiness not in us being first. It’s in putting others first!
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
And the way we TREAT others is very much connected to what we THINK about others. And how we THINK about others is very much connected to the words we SAY about others.
Especially our secrets!
Let’s get real for a minute. Usually the things we share in secret are not for someone else’s good. Most of our secrets tend to be critical in nature and full of gossip.
But what if we changed that? What if, like Cole, the things we shared in secret were for others’ good, not harm? To build up, not tear down?
What if our secrets were for others to succeed and win? What if we started spreading beautiful life-giving secrets?
The Lord taught me a powerful lesson at the bowling alley that day. See, I am no stranger to this struggle. I often battle a critical spirit. When I allow a critical mindset to get a grip on me, my words become critical. My words and my secrets–begin to tear down. I get caught up in an ugly cycle where my critical thoughts lead to critical words which lead to critical actions.
Here’s what the Bible says about the connection between our words and hearts—
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45
The words we speak often reveals the condition of our hearts.
So I had a “heart-to-heart” conversation with God. I asked for His forgiveness for my critical words and critical spirit. I asked for His help to use my words to build others up and not tear them down. Even the things I share in secret. I want to plot and strategize for others’ good, not their harm.
I want to start spreading a new kind of secret.
Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
I’ve been working on this new “secret” plan a little while now and here’s what I’ve discovered. What I SAY greatly affects how I FEEL! The more I build others up, the more love I feel for others—yes, even the tough people in my life. It’s an incredible feeling. I highly recommend you try it.
The Lord never ceases to blow me away! His Word is so powerful! It’s such a supernatural living breathing active book. And it works! When we actually DO what it says, it works!
So Cole, thank you! Thank you for sharing your beautiful secret with me that day at the bowling alley. I don’t remember the final score of the game. But I know who the true winner was that day. It was Cole. See here’s the cool thing about God’s scoreboard—when we seek to let others win, we win too!!
In the game of life, God’s scores are the ones that count!
And next time you tell someone a secret, make it beautiful!