1. considerate: treating people in a kind and considerate way, especially by anticipating their wants or needs
2. pensive: appearing to be deep in thought
3. carefully thought out: showing the application of careful thoughtEncarta® World English Dictionary[North American Edition] © & (P) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
So why is being thoughtful important?
Deep and careful thought is necessary in order to be considerate of others, even to be considerate of God. Our natural inclination is to think of ourselves and we must work at thinking of others. Newborn babies are not thoughtful. They demand food when they want it. They sleep when they want. They have no qualms dirtying the brand new diaper even if it is the last one. A two year old doesn’t want to share their favorite toy nor do they care if moma really needs them to take a good nap.
It takes lots of teaching to teach children to contemplate and think of others. Sometimes it hardly seems to be worth all the effort. But as Christians that isn’t an option; it is a requirement. Because if we fail to teach our children to be thoughtful and considerate they will struggle with pleasing the Lord and with loving others. The two most important commands in the Bible concern this idea.
Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV)
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
The two great commandments encompass loving God and loving your neighbor. But in order to love both you must be able to think clearly about loving. We don’t love when we just go through life responding without contemplating our response. The Bible is full of explanations and encouragements on how to truly show love to God and others.
Matthew 7:12 (ESV) “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
This is a concept we teach our children from day one yet who hasn’t had a child twist the verse to say “Do unto others as they did unto you”? There is a big difference there. But sometimes the difference is hard for young children to grasp. They think because brother hit me I can hit him. It takes work to teach children to think out how this verse works without just being reactionary. Sometimes even adults struggle with twisting this verse. Ever heard someone say because they did this to me I can do the same to them?
Obviously this concept is even more important and far reaching than I thought.