Monday, March 16, 2015
Trying to teach a student a practical approach to mathematics, a teacher asked one of her students, “How many are there in your family/” He answered that there were two boys, two girls, mom, and dad. Then she asked him, “If your mother were to bake a pie, in how many pieces would she cut it?” He answered “five.” She quickly replied “you don’t understand; it would have to be six.” He answered: “I know it should be six, but knowing my mom, she would not take a piece for herself.” The question is: Why should mothers always be the selfless ones? Should not all of God’s children, those who are led by the love of Christ, be like that also? Does not I Corinthians 13:5 say that love is not self-seeking?
During my early school years and also in my teens, I remember wanting to be the student that answered all the questions asked by the teachers, and I loved winning all the class spelling bees. That stopped on the day I was informed that the student winning the final class quiz was going to appear before the entire school for the school-wide spelling bee. When I learned that, I purposely missed the first word because my fear of spelling in front of a big audience was far greater than my desire to be the best speller. On every kid basketball team I was on, I wanted to be the kid who scored all the points. When I was in high school, once again my fear of playing in front of big crowds was greater than my desire to be the star so I never tried out for the varsity team. To this day, to be honest, I don’t know if, back then, my desire to be better than everyone else was childishness, selfishness, foolishness or something else. Nevertheless, it is quite clear to me that, in my mind, I was far more important than anyone else in my life. I can use the excuse that back then I did not know that the Bible says in Romans 12:3: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” I’m glad that with time, the love of Christ teaches us to love others as we love ourselves and to never consider ourselves better than anyone else.
I’m not a psychologist but it is pretty evident that, from childhood, we’ve all developed our own personality traits, some which are very hard to shake, especially the bad ones. If we stay close to God, however, He will constantly remind us that we don’t have to get our way every time, always be the first in line, be the first to give an opinion, do most of the talking in every conversation, be in charge of every project, or always be the one most seen and heard, no matter where we are. Again, I would not be able to tell you if folks who are like that are foolish, selfish, or just plain childish; all I know is that God can help us all to overcome these bad habits. The lesson is as easy as 1,2,3. God is 1, others are 2, and we are 3.
Memory verse for the week: (Hebrews 10:25) “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- -and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”