Ooo … You Cheated

I’ve only had one fight. EVER! It was 1985 at the brand new 15th Street School. I was a kindergartener playing kickball with my friends on the play ground, and I was accused of cheating. Of course I didn’t cheat at all, but the accusation was hurled at me, because some kid didn’t like the outcome.

I see this idea played out in real-time everyday with my students. I work with students, from first through fourth grade, in a math lab. My curriculum includes lots of games, that can unfortunately cause heated arguments over the exact same thing. Accusations of cheating. Not only do these kids accuse each other of breaking rules to favor a win, they will even accuse ME! I played dominoes with my students (not just for fun, but because it practices several different math skills), and every time I would score points it could be heard with just about every class: “Ooo … You cheated Mr. Murphy!” As if the only way I could ever do well is by doing something slick and underhanded.

Unfortunately, many of us never out grow this trait. Many people will see someone doing well and life and will automatically assume that something sinister is afoot. They will wonder and assume all sorts of crooked, dishonest and immoral things, and hardly ever chalk it up to hard work, dedication or the favor of God.

“I wonder who he paid off to …”

“Who did she have to sleep/flirt with to get …”

“You know people only support them because …”

This type of talk is a clear sign of immaturity. It is that 7 seven-year old version of ourselves that can’t stand to see someone advance, especially more than us. The truth of the matter is that this type of attitude only exposes what kind of heart WE have.

Jesus tells a story of two brothers in Luke 15. The younger brother asked for his portion of inheritance, only to squander it on what the Bible calls riotous living. After a strong “ah ha” moment, he returns to his father to be received as a servant, but the father restores him as a son. The older brother had a big problem with this, siting that his baby brother spent all the father’s money on prostitutes and wild parties. The only problem with his assessment is that the Bible never said that was what his brother did. Instead of celebrating the return of his brother, and the grace of the father, the older brother projected the most scandalous theories he could imagine. Could it be that this would be what the older brother would have done, if he had the chance and the nerve? Perhaps he revealed what was in his own heart.

So please. Do your best not to assume the worst in other people’s success. Instead, focus on yourself and your goals. Dig in and do your best work … live your best life, and stop worrying about what other people are doing to get what they have.

©2019 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.

If you enjoyed this essay, please feel free to share it with your family, friends and social media to help spread this encouragement. Thank you for reading!




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