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The other day I caught myself thinking unkind thoughts about someone. I honestly can't remember who it was or what I was thinking, but I do remember what made me stop what I was doing: being a mom.

Several years ago my best friend and I were talking about people we saw at the local Wal-Mart whose bodies were less than clean and their language was even worse. Let me just say, I'm not proud of this conversation, and I don't have any problem with Wal-Mart. I shop there all the time. Back to the point. My friend stopped us in the middle of the conversation and said, Well, they're God's children, too.

She's right.

That comment is so elementary that we often cast it off with the rest of the simple stuff like, Jesus loves me. Sadly in our spiritual maturity we sometimes forget Christianity 101. But that day's conversation has stayed with me for years and has taken on an entirely different meaning now that I'm a mom.

You see, the fastest way for someone to get to my heart is to be nice to my kids. Think about when the parent-teacher conference is filled with praises. All of a sudden you're ready to give out a Teacher of the Year award! And conversely, the fastest way to my bad side is to be mean to my children. I took one of my boys to the play area at the mall a few months ago and he waved and said hello to a woman. She did a half-smile and kind of rolled her eyes at him. Excuse me? Did you not see, feel and hear the cuteness that was coming at you just then? What's wrong with you, lady? In a split second, she became my worst enemy.

I am so in love with my kids that whatever is done to them is done to me. When someone is mean to them, I hurt. When someone is kind to them, I feel all warm and fuzzy and want to give that person a big hug. I know in the eyes of that woman my son is not the most precious thing, but he is to me, so it hurts.

So if I say something rude about someone, I'm doing to God what the play area mom did to me. Yikes. Not good. Maybe I didn't see those people at Wal-Mart as precious, but God does.

Thankfully, God is way more forgiving and understanding than I am, but that isn't a green light to speak unkindly to or about one of his kids. I want God to always want to give me a big hug, not be in pain because of my unkind words. Just like me, the way to God's heart is to be kind to his children. It's so elementary and so what it's all about all at the same time.

Copyright 2016 Abby Brundage