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God’s Upside-Down Kingdom

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”

“Whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it.”

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Matthew 20:26; Matthew 16:24-25; Matthew 5:44

God often encourages us to think in an “upside-down” way - love your enemies; lose your life to find it; serve if you want to lead. These things sound like nonsense compared to the wisdom of the world. With this “backward” thinking in mind, a friend once gave me the advice to try “doing the opposite” when having a frustrating day. For example, when your kids are clingy and you really want to be left alone, instead of trying to hide in the bathroom, read a book together or start a dance party. If you have bickering kids, make them work together on a task, instead of separating them.

Our family has a “kindness jar” which is a jar with chores written on pieces of paper. When siblings argue, I do not try to figure out what is happening or who started what, I just hold out the kindness jar and they have to choose a job to complete together. This might be vacuuming mom’s car, sweeping the garage, or washing the patio furniture. Once they start the task, it only takes a few minutes before they are laughing together again. One Christmas break I had my entire household to-do list completed with this method!

To add to the anticipation of pulling out a chore card, and to reinforce the idea that God’s grace saves us from what we deserve, there is one “grace card” in the jar. This card has a quick and silly task such as: “Sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star together.” The grace card always leads to a sigh of relief from the offending sibling, and the performance provides hearty laughter for the entire family.

By choosing the opposite of what seems logical, we can model for our families what it looks like to pursue God’s upside-down kingdom. It is a reminder to show love when we have been hurt, to put others’ needs before ours, and to choose humility when tempted by pride.

CHALLENGE: Sometime this week, choose the opposite of what seems logical and see how it goes.

Rebecca Steinbach

“In the Trenches” Contributing Writer

Wife, Mother of 3 girls, and avid travel planner!


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