SYLVIA McCRORY JUNE 2020
We live in a society and culture where we refuse to settle for average in anything. We want to be the best, we want to buy the best, we want our children to be the best. We want our children to have the best. Now, take a step back, and imagine your friend being the one wanting the best of everything. Wouldn’t you think it sounds selfish, spoiled, and maybe even entitled to feel they are going to settle for nothing less than the best?
Let’s examine what is involved in having the best. You’re willing to work harder than anyone, willing to spend more time at work, or preparing for work. You’re willing to learn more so you can earn more. You’re willing to go in debt to have the best. You’re willing to push your children to be the best. You’re willing to spend more time going to organized sports activities, if it will help your children be the best. You’re willing to push your children to practice more in sports, music, dance, art, and school. You’re willing to enroll your children in summer learning camps to make sure they have advantages over other children.
Then, you sit back and pat yourself on the back for a job well-done. And, while there is no harm in encouraging your children to work hard, the harm comes when they are being pushed in so many different directions. The harm comes when children are experiencing anxiety, and stress at young ages, in alarming numbers. The harm comes when children are too busy to be children. The harm comes when children are feeling they are being loved because of their performance, not because of who they are, as a person. The harm comes when children feel they are a disappointment to their parents. The harm comes when children think they will never be good enough.
Have you ever stopped to think what is in the heart of someone who must have the best of everything? Is it love for your neighbor? Is it concern for the poor? Or is it determination to get more, to have more no matter the cost?
Doesn’t it appear we have forgotten the verses in Philippians?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
We are to follow the example of Jesus.
Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV)
But the passage does not end there. Continue reading some of the most compelling verses in the Bible.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow
In heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
To the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11 (NIV)
God gave each of us the authority to make choices. And it is up to us to decide how we are going to live our lives. As parents, we make decisions for our families every day. Are we choosing to follow the pressures and desires of the world? Or are we choosing to follow the will of our Heavenly Father? Jesus is our example, our rewards are not of this world, but in Heaven.
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