The Word — Helping all achieve baby steps

Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 9, 2022

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Have you ever paid much attention to babies? Most people do. When babies start to make noises we go “awe, they’re trying to talk— say mama, say dadda, say ice cream (you know…the important stuff).” When babies laugh, we laugh as it fills our hearts with joy. When babies cry we do whatever it takes to quiet them. When babies take their first steps we clap for them and cheer them on, don’t we? And when they start wobbling about we know they’re gonna fall. What happens then? We still cheer them on. We encourage them to get up and try again. We have them hold our finger and we walk with them.

When does this attention stop? Think about this now — eventually we stop cheering. Eventually we stop laughing. Eventually we stop coaching them along the way. When a baby falls down we dust off their bottom and give a little love tap-a-roo and help them. We “ooo” and “ahhh,” encouraging them to keep trying, don’t we? We don’t criticize them for falling.

I think there’s a lesson here needed for us adults. We spend more time criticizing the falls of folks and not enough time applauding the small steps. We are quick to talk about the failings of people and not fast enough to help or coach them along the way. We spread the latest news when someone messes up as soon as we can hoping we are the first to tell someone new…. But why, instead, aren’t we shutting up and running to dust off their bottom and give a little love tap-a-roo and help out those who are grown?

Have you ever messed up? Sure you have. Have you ever made a mistake?

Heck yeah you did. Have you ever fallen? All.The.Time. How’d you feel?

Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone helped instead of just criticized or talked about you?

We desire for our babies to learn and grow. We hope the encouragement and coaching can take root and help them as they get older. In Ephesians 3:17-19 we read, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

I pray this year brings growth to our life. I pray we become rooted and abounding in love as we strive to help each other instead of just criticize. I pray we actually act as God desires.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at