Unmasking the Good Kid in You

 
Flower with a white rectangle overlay containing post title

Are–or were–you a good kid? I was. It’s easy for parents and others, but is that good? You decide. Here’s my story.

The Good Kid

 
The crimson trickle was slow at the onset.
 
drip
drip, drip
drip, drip, drip

 

 

 
Soon, a flow of red began to fall. He quickly grasped at his nose. His hand slid underneath his bowed head, forming a cup of sorts. I didn’t see the ensuing havoc because he quickly ran away.

 

 

 
 
It had only been a slight touch on his nose. We were playing, simply playing on the playground during recess. My nine year old hand had seen older adults perform the “gonna get your nose” trick, and I had determined to mimic their actions. After all, little kids do play the game “Monkey see, monkey do” quite well. I was no different.
 
 
What child doesn’t love recess? Mouths water, legs tap in anticipation, and hands wring at the thought of going outside. There’s a jubilation, knowing that freedom is within reach. Certainly recess ranks in the top three for answers concerning “What was the best part of your day, kiddo?”
 

Good Gone Wrong

 
What had been a longed for, much anticipated, favorite time of day, however, was quickly souring this particular day. The blood flow on the schoolyard was a small indicator. However, the call to the principal’s office was an in-your-face, something’s wrong, huge red-flashing-lights indicator.
 
 
They were having trouble stopping the flow. An ambulance had been called.
 
 

I was scared.

 

 

 
 
 

Although I was concerned for his well-being, I was more afraid for me.

 

 

 
 

The thought of getting in trouble had my knees knocking. Oh, I’m not in love with writing that. The selfishness in it is like nails on a chalkboard. However, it’s proof that even “good” kids have heart conditions.
 


Yes, and even “good” kids need Jesus.

 

I had never been called to the principal’s office before, at least not for correction. I was the “good kid.” A rule follower. I didn’t like to get in trouble, so I didn’t. Work was always completed on time and to the best of my ability, and chatter was kept in tow.
 
 
 
“Kristi. Come with me, please,” said the principal. She was not smiling.
 
 
 

Tears flooded my eyes as I began the trek toward the office. It was only twenty, maybe thirty, steps to her office, a short, but not so sweet, journey. This day it felt like 5,000 miles.

 

 

 
 

By the time I sat in the awaiting chair, a muted, light green hard, elementary-sized version of a chair, my tears were flooding her office. I might as well have been in a police interrogation room. It felt that bad to my nine year old self.
 
 
I was about to get in trouble and my selfish desires were screaming. Central to the theme was me. The boy was nowhere to be found in the midst of my squirming thoughts. 
 
 
The principal’s words rung loud and clear.  
 
 
Why had I done this? 
Why did I hit the boy in the nose?
 
 
Words flew through my brain in record time. They were scattered but gathering quickly.
 
 
I didn’t mean to. 
It was only play. 
Did I really hit him that hard? 
I had no idea. I am so sorry!
 
 
No words came out. Not a single syllable was said.
 

 

When the Good Kid Goes Silent

 
 
Silence ensued as my downcast eyes stared holes through the floor. The principal awaited my response. It never came. There were only tears and the insidious slobber that accompanies it.
 
 
I don’t remember everything that happened for the remainder of the afternoon other than the boy’s mom came to help and his nose did eventually quit bleeding. Thankfully, he was okay. I do remember that I cried…a lot. Bucket loads of tears fell that day, enough to make Niagara Falls overflow during a drought.
 
 
After school I was whisked off to the awaiting slumber party for one of my classmates. What should have been a happy occasion, and was for all the other girls, was not enjoyable for me. I cried often. There were no more buckets in the county to capture the flow of my tears.
 
 
 
The principal jingled. (It was a small school where everyone knew everyone…and three generations to boot.) She knew where I was that evening and called to reassure me that the boy was okay. I should not worry and go, enjoy the party. That was nice of her, but I was already bruised from the whole ordeal. With puffy, red eyes and a snotty nose, my “good” kid heart recoiled. I had missed the mark of being “good enough”.
 

What Does Good Kid Mean?

 
 

Here I am, 35+ years later, forever glad that the bleeding stopped and sorry for the pain unintentionally inflicted by my very hands. However, the questions continue to linger. WHY didn’t I speak up in the principal’s office? WHY didn’t I let them know it was absolutely an accident and there was no malicious intent in my heart that day? Why didn’t I let the principal know I was sorry? Why didn’t I state my case, support my cause, be a lawyer in my own court of affairs?
 
 

Even more so…why didn’t I care about the boy more than myself?

 
 
Because selfishness sometimes wears a mask. And “good” kids have need for Jesus, too.
 
We all, rule followers, drunkards, “good” kids and troubled, have heart conditions. It doesn’t matter how good the package looks on the outside, our hearts need a touch from God. Concerning salvation, “good kid” status can be a hinderance because it hinges on our works and power–not the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
 
 
For all have sinned, 
and come short of the glory of God; 
Romans 3:23 KJV
 
 
It certainly starts with repentance for sins, but some stop there. They work hard to be good, reading their Bible, praying, attending church, and being involved in every committee possible. They are the adult version of a “good” kid.
 
 
But what about those quiet moments, when the “good” kid grown is all alone, just me and Jesus?  What do we do then?
 
 
As an adult, I’ve had to fight that “good kid” mentality over and over. I want to look good and wear the mask, meanwhile my heart beats What about me? In offense, in frustration, in hurtful situations, I’m more concerned about me than those “bloody-nosed boys” involved.
 
 
 
It’s been a battle. It’s been ugly. But as the Great Physician has performed heart surgery, more little trinkets of ugliness have been revealed and healed. Selfishness and its friends have been unmasked by the very counsel of His Holy Spirit.
 
 
Today, I think of others more highly than myself. (Phil. 2:3)
 
 
It’s good. It’s been a relief. It’s freedom. It’s a work-in-progress. And it’s dead-center in His will. (Interested in more of my story? Read here.)
 

Are You a Good Kid?

 
 

Are you a good kid? You’ll know if you are. Do you recoil when turmoil hits? Do you lick your wounds in the heat of a battle and converse more about self, your hurt, or your offended self than God or others? Those may be clues.
 
 
It’s time.
 
 
Today is the day. Allow the Holy Spirit to unmask the good kid in you. Allow Him to reveal and heal those areas where darkness cleverly reigns. He’s faithful. And you’ll find freedom.

 

 

 

A Prayer for the Good Kid

 
 
The single most productive prayer I’ve ever prayed, and continue to pray frequently is this:
Lord, show me my heart. If there’s anything in it that’s not of You, reveal it. Heal it, Lord. Heal me that I might worship You.
 The prayer is based on Psalm 139:23-24.
 
 
Always, always, always…in His faithfulness, God has answered that prayer. 
 
 
Sometimes selfishness wears a mask. But then again, as we allow Him, the mask is removed. Press in and press on to maturity today, my friend. Consider the prayer. The Lord is worthy.

 

 

 
Joining Jesus hands with other encouraging writers. Want to come for the journey? Crystal at #IntentionalTuesday, Kelly at #RaRaLinkUp, the gals at #TestimonyTuesday,  #TellHisStory,  Holley Gerth, and Susan B. Mead.
 
 
Announcing the Faith Library - light green with gold
Rejection, Free, Devotional

Subscribe below to receive the 3-day devotional Removing the Sting of Rejection in your inbox for FREE. Use this devotional to build your spiritual muscles to counter the sting of rejection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

28 Comments

  1. Hi, Kristi. What great descriptions. I feel like I’m right there with you–like I am you, experiencing it in all its awfulness. Selfishness all too often rears its ugly head in my life, too. It lives deep within my heart, so deep sometimes I’m not aware. But I’m so thankful God sees. He brings it out in the open, doesn’t He? I, too, am a work in progress. So thankful for God’s grace…and new mercies every day. Visiting from #RaRalinkup. Thank you for encouraging me with your story and God’s Word.

    1. Loved having you stop by today, Sabra. I loved this part of your response: “It lives deep within my heart, so deep sometimes I’m not aware. But I’m so thankful God sees.”
      I’m thankful God sees, too. All glory to His name.

  2. Kristi,
    I am so grateful to God that I can read this post today and be ok with myself for finally unmasking. Year before last I finally gave the spirit room to free me. Layer by layer He has been peeling away as I continue to press toward Him. Happy to be visiting you from the raralinkup.

  3. Kristi,
    Oh, I felt for you as I read it and I identified because I’ve been that good kid trying to earn my parents and God’s approval…and God has been good to reveal and to heal …I think I could only handle what God reveals because I know God already knows and loves me unconditionally…what a wonderful post…Thank you…visiting via Kelly’s blog 🙂

  4. Krist, I have been that slobbering mess where my actions led to undesired results and my words fail to utter a sound … well, if you don’t count blowing of my nose. And today I was right there with you walking the long hall.

    There is such truth in your words, my friend, that revealing leads to healing. And while I don’t like the revealing, the Lord’s conviction brings about change that allows me to walk closer with Him.

    So blessed by your words today. Thank you for sharing them with us at #IntentionalTuesday

  5. Wow, you really hit the nail on the head with this description of good kids. Yes, I identify. I love the simple prayer that you shared. That will be my prayer too.

  6. “Good kids need Jesus, too.” I was so much like you described yourself as a kid. The problem was as I got older it became a problem of self-righteousness, and if I’m being completely honest, that little self righteous attitude still tries to come in every so often. Like you, I see and feel God chipping away, a little at a time, all that ugliness in my heart and replacing it with more of Him. So thankful for such a loving and merciful God!

    1. I’m amazed at how many of “us” there are, Michelle. Praise God that He’s chipping away the ugliness. Joining you in the thanks for His love and mercy.

  7. Kristi, you brought back elementary school to me as if it was yesterday! Down to the green chairs. I was a “good kid” too and still am. I prayed just this morning that short breath prayer you’ve probably heard, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” As I spend time before God regularly confessing my sins, my eyes are opened. But often I forget about my need to confess and repent, for crying out loud.

  8. Kristi,
    I was a “good girl” of course, the book of Romans put that illusion to rest. But I have found that God moves the most when I am willing to lay it all out there…the good, the bad and the very ugly. Once I get real with me and get real with Him, He works mightily to change me! And “Lord show me my heart”…that is so needful, because I often don’t see how wicked it really is… Linking up from Testimony Tuesday! 🙂

  9. Great post! Sometimes it is even harder for the good kids. They become self-righteous but it is not recognized because it is more of an internal sin. I praise God for what he taught you through this. I praise God that he saves us no matter what side of the spectrum we fall on. Cheering you from the Purposeful Faith #RaRalinkup!

    1. Woot! Woot! That’s a Praise the Lord, and a thank you to you, Jennifer. 🙂 The beauty of what the Lord can do with a life submitted to Him…I’m beginning to learn more day by day. Thanks so much for the opportunity to linkup with you. Tuesdays are always a joy. #WriteOn #JesusGirl

  10. I love the prayer that you shared here. I can relate to being the ‘good’ kid, especially at school. Sometimes it is the most difficult to see our brokenness when it is masked by a display of togetherness. I am thankful that the Lord is in the habit of revealing our need for Him, and bringing healing in increasing measure, day-by-day.
    Blessings and hugs,
    Kamea

  11. Love this post, Kristi!!! “And “good” kids have need for Jesus, too.”….. OH, YES!!!! Spot on, my friend! Thank you for this encouragement and truth! #livefreeThursday

  12. I just wanted to hug your 9 year old self! I’m a rule follower, too, but I think we are even harder on ourselves when we fall short. Failure cripples us and public failure is the nail in the coffin. Those verses from Psalm 139 are among my favorites!