Sunday, October 24, 2010

Playing second fiddle

“….put on a heart of humility…” –Col. 3:12

It’s been said that, “A violinist can't truly appreciate first chair until he’s played second fiddle.” It is so important to teach our kids about humility. We can’t make them humble- they have to do that themselves, but we can help them understand why humility is so important. Life is packed full of situations engineered by our loving God to “put us in our place.” Our “place” is actually an awesome spot when we’re sitting at the feet of God.

Pride is the opposite of humility and at it’s root is the attempt to put ourselves on the throne of our lives. So much of this life reinforces the building up of pride. From academics to athletics, the directive is to take control and come out ahead.

By contrast, humility “regards one another as more important than myself.”(Phil. 2:3). Does that mean a humble person never competes? No. But it does mean that the humble athlete does his best for the sake of best, not to humiliate his opponent.

I still remember 5th grade at Mary Louis Phillips Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas. We had an end-of-the-year program for the parents. We were dressed as different historical characters and I was an Indian. When they were choosing where we would stand on the podium for our singing, they moved me to the back row. I was devastated. To this day, I’m not sure why. But I figured it was because my singing voice wasn’t very good. I was humbled. I was learning to be okay without the spotlight.

“Joey’s humility book” is filled with many chapters. Not making the 6th grade basketball team, having to get glasses, losing my final high school football game to our across town rivals. The list goes on and on. But all those “defeats” have been used to teach me to take my focus off myself and onto the loving God who watches over me. It’s still a struggle, but I’m learning.

Kids come prewired towards pride and by the time they become a teenagers, self- esteem and self-worth have rarely been softened toward humility. So what is the role of a parent in teaching teens humility? Practice humility before them. It's another “better caught than taught” principal. Let your kids see you choosing humility.

Put it into action. Let your teen see it. Admit that you made the mistake. Share stories with your kids about a past failure in your life. Give your child the last M&M. My dad didn’t share too many stories with my 3 older brothers and me but when he did tell us about the hardships growing up in rural Georgia, we listened. Hearing about his simple background reminded us that simple is awesome.

Reward your child when they put humility into action. Many scriptures remind us that, “pride comes before the fall” but “the humble man will be exalted.” Many victories and defeats await your teenager. The wins come easily, but he’ll be better prepared for the losses if you’ve helped increase his humility quotient.

So, rosin up the bow and let the second fiddle begin.

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

No comments: