Frogs


For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

Each year in my classroom there has been a theme.  For years it was bees.  I referred to my students as “busy bees” and encouraged them to be kind to one another. After two years of bee references and be-ing surrounded by yellow and black I decided that it was time for a change.  This year lily-pads replaced bee hives and we embraced all things FROG.  Besides reminding them to “Fully Rely On God,”  I can also sprinkle throughout the day encouragements to “hop to it,”   and the praise them for “toad-a-lly awesome behavior.”

With every theme comes a behavior chart.  Each day, my student’s frogs begin on the “first” lily pad on the back of our classroom door.  With any major infraction of the rules, they must “hop their frog” to subsequent lily pads, each being attached to their own set of consequences.  Once your frog has been hopped, there is no redemption.  As well, each student has within their take-home folder a sheet upon which they receive a daily frog sticker if they do not have to hop their frog that day.  This helps me to easily communicate with parents the type of day their child had.  After eight frog stickers earned, a student is allowed a trip to Mrs. Glanzman’s treasure chest.  That being said, frog stickers are a daily topic of conversation and a really big deal.

The unfortunate hopping of a frog has been known to catapult a child into tears or a tantrum.  A trip to the treasure chest will seldom illicit anything less than an excited whoop and involuntary jumping up and down in excitement.  Each day the big question from parents in the car loop is….”did you get your frog?”

So, the frog chart is completely works based.  It is when the children do everything that they are suppose to, and nothing that they are not, that they receive the frog that they have earned and deserve.

We all have frogs in our life.

Our frogs at work come through kudos  and paychecks with an occasional promotion.  Our frogs within relationships come when we treat others the way we should and meet the expectations that they have for us.  The body of Christ even has frogs to earn.  They come when you serve, humbly and faithfully all the while jumping through the man made hoops held by those who endue themselves with the right to judge and condemn.  Frogs are everywhere and they have become such an ingrained part of our thinking and way of living that we don’t even recognize them anymore.   What is life without frogs?

So foreign is it to consider a life not embodied by works that when we come to Christ our whole way of thinking must be revamped.  Almost from birth we are trained and molded to “be good” and “do good” so that we are able to partake in whatever  earthly benefit abounds. In the Kingdom of God however there are no frog charts.  When we accept Jesus Christ into our heart as our Lord and Savior we are gifted with righteousness.  This is likened to an eternally filled frog chart stating that the debt is paid, the mark is met and the work is done.  No longer are we forced to strive to earn acceptance, love or forgiveness and the treasure to be had is far more magnificent than anything found in Mrs. Glanzman’s treasure chest.

Father, thank you for the gift of salvation.  Thank you Lord that your love for me is unconditional. I am blessed to remember that my righteousness is based on my acceptance of what Christ has done on the cross. 

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