Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Train Your Child To Be Great

But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:25-28

The room was full of family. All of them were singing the old lady's praises. She grew up in poverty. Lived simply all her life and was now about to meet her maker. Everyone in the room talked about how she fed them, loved them, and did whatever it took to raise them. They said she had literally given away her own clothing to help others. She was drawing near to the end of her life, but her family was filled with joy. She had served them without any thought of herself all her life and now they were glad to spend whatever time they had left serving her.

Psychologists say that today 80 percent of parents teach children that the priority in life is personal achievement and happiness.  That means those are the priorities for 80% of parents. So there are at least two generations who are doomed to fail.

They will fail because those are not the priorities that bring true success. As a matter of fact, if you want to find personal happiness, making personal achievement and personal happiness your priorities is exactly what you should not do. It dooms you to failure, because the only way to live a great life and have a great eternity is to make servanthood your priority. When self is the priority, there is never any true peace and happiness. When servanthood is the priority, not only does the servant find peace and joy, but the world sees peace and joy.

This has to be one of those areas of life where we, Christians, are radically different than the world.  It has to be because it's what Jesus said and did. The world needs to see the value of the difference and uniqueness of the Gospel. The Gospel is about Jesus. Jesus didn't come to achieve or to be happy. Jesus came to serve and give his life a ransom for many. And, Jesus was full of joy. When we preach Jesus as the only way and don't show who Jesus is, we gut our witness. When we preach Jesus and show it by serving, we give credence to our testimony. 

If you're an 80 percenter, what would it take for you to reprioritize your life? What would it take for you to reprioritize your parenting, your grandparenting?  Start by changing your message. Stop preaching personal achievement and personal happiness and start preaching personal servanthood. Then show your children how to serve others. But, what if you don't want to? What if you don't want to serve? Well . . .