The other day I was at the grocery store, talking with a woman about her day. She shared that her 90-year-old mother-in-law had passed away and that they were busy making funeral plans. During the conversation she paused and stated adamantly that “Bad things come in threes! I just hope that this is the last of it!” Then she listed the two previous deaths in the last few weeks involving grandparents of people she worked with. When I tried to ease her away from this conviction, she just dug her heels in deeper. “No,” she said, “they come in threes!

People believe all sorts of things. Sometimes the belief is based on experience. Sometimes it is based on a wives’ tale. And sometimes it is based … on nothing. So let’s take a minute to examine the above belief.

First of all, the three deaths mentioned were of people who had run their race and finished their course. All were elderly and had come to the time when they slip out of their bodies and enter eternal life. It’s a natural course of events. Some day, when we are finished with our earthly assignments, we too will leave.

Secondly, if this “come in threes” principle is true, why is it not applied to good things as well as bad? Why don’t people believe that an unexpected financial windfall, a job promotion, and healing come in threes, too?

The truth is that setting one’s faith to believe for bad things to happen only attracts the negative event to that person. Fear, like a forceful magnet, can pull calamity toward a person. And the stalwart conviction that something bad is coming, can pull that negative event in.

But the opposite is also true. With faith in God’s promises, we can pull blessing toward us, as well. We can draw in God’s own life-giving power to make a difference or change a circumstance. This makes us ambassadors of blessing. Of mercy and peace.

What we believe about each of these forces – a belief system we inherited from our parents – is what we are transmitting to our children. Do we really want our children to believe that bad things come in multiples of three? Do we really want their little minds to be dominated by fear? Or do we want to impart into them the confidence that comes from faith in God?

As we begin this season of sunshine and play, let’s be watchful to guard against fear. Let us make sure that what we are telling our children is based on God’s wonderful promises. Then, with certainty and conviction, we will pull in to our realm a summer overflowing with all of God’s rich blessings.

(For more information about transferring values to young children, visit our Character Education section here.)

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