It is time for dinner; the same youngster finds his way to the front of the serving line to pile a mound of meat on his plate. Because roast beef is his favorite, there is no consideration of how many people need to eat after him.
Someone, anyone, grabs a mid day snack and this same child appears out of nowhere to proclaim, “What’s that?” then without waiting for an answer, “where’s mine?”
It is birthday time, another child’s birthday, and “it is all about me” boy asks, “Did you get me anything?”
Have you met this child?
This is what the world’s philosophy of “Look out for number one” looks like.
But God wants to be number one in our lives; if we are on the throne, there is no room for Him.
Philippians 2 :4 “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
In the above examples, this boy needs to be taught to look at others needs, not just his own desires:
· Explain before eating how to politely wait his turn
· Explain after situation how to act next time
· Show how to respond in a group with, “yes, please” and then wait to be offered a plate
· Show how gentlemen let others go first and consider how many have to eat before piling on own plate
· Practice how to ask politely and not demanding fairness, especially not firstness.
· Practice words and actions that prefer others, and teach him to see others not just self
Philippians 2: 3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
This is the attitude we are called to raise our children with. God is not concerned with our getting our fair share, why are we? Our Savior is concerned with our preferring one another, are we? This is child training 101, it is the heart of good manners.
As Paul pleads with the Corinthians in his second book to them, vs. 13, “As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.” He is sharing many practical tips throughout this book, and now he reminds the Corinthians that he needs their hearts too. As parents we want our child’s heart, not just his outward obedience. We do this by requiring outward obedience while continually pointing them back to God’s Truth, being an open example, and giving them our hearts first.
This “it is all about me” boy is waiting for direction. He may not ask for help, yet, he desperately wants a greater purpose. This young man’s “what about me” attitude leaves him hollow. Christ fulfills; give him Jesus and His perspective of being a servant of all, to bring real meaning to his life.