"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" Philippians 2:3 NIV
A few years ago we had the privilege of housing three children and one adult from a choir from Uganda. Medi and Ronald were 9, Danny 12, and Uncle Jeff probably 26 or 27. Some things are universal. When the boys were getting their showers, playing games and telling jokes, they seemed like the other children who frequent our house. They were very polite with their, "May I be excused from the table please?" and mannerly with no arguments when I said, "Bedtime."
However, when it was time for bed, they allowed me to stay and listen to their bedtime prayers. They didn't ask for toys, new clothes, better grades or even healing. These children who travel months at a time, sleeping in a different home every night thanked God for a warm place to sleep and the opportunity to serve. They asked God to bless the host home and the members of the choir. Then they asked for a comfortable night's rest so they might better serve tomorrow.
There is a growing trend in our churches away from this humble spirit of servanthood. It's called pride and we are teaching it to our children. I've heard parents say, "Honey, you catch on quickly, but for other children it's just more difficult," and "I don't know why she seems so worried about her looks, we always tell her she's a pretty girl."
We are all well-wishing good parents wanting the best for our kids. But are we teaching them to have humble spirits and to serve others?
Father, I ask that You shine Your brilliant search light on our souls and search our hearts for wrong motives. Point out the times when we speak to our children in ways that make them feel better than others. Lord, we are all your children. Don't let us play favorites, even with our own. Help us track our conversations to see if pride is getting in the way of serving You and others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.