Are we teaching our kids to be self-focused?

They won’t know unless someone shows them.  It’s our kids I’m talking about.  They will do what we do. They will treat others the way they see us treat others. 

I had just changed into my comfortable clothes after church on Sunday and a text came through on my phone.  My friend had an extremely high fever to the point that she needed to call for an ambulance.  I asked if I could pick up her kids so her husband could be with her.  They’d been hit hard for the last month with sickness within their family. 

My family stayed home while I drove to the emergency room to pick up four kids, a diaper bag and two car seats.  While I was doing that, my husband and kids prepared the house for our guests.  The guest room needed to be picked up, clean sheets put in place and a portable crib set up.  They worked hard to be ready for them. 

What I observed the next day made me think about what it really is to serve others.  My kids played with the younger kids for hours; helped by making sure the baby didn’t try to escape down the stairs and offered to retrieve him from the bedroom when he woke up from his nap.  They never complained.

Truth be told, my house is not baby proofed anymore and I have a certain schedule that I like to keep.  Honestly, I cherish my time and once my two youngest kids became more self sufficient, I’ve been able to enjoy the peace and calm I longed for.  I haven’t woken up in the middle night to feed a baby in a long time, so I was giving up something in order to be there for my friend. 

That day, I had a choice to make; to help or not help.  I could have assessed the situation and decide it was too inconvenient, but it’s not in my nature to leave my friends hanging in an emergency. 

My selfish nature has been changed by consistently surrendering my will to the Lord.

I’m still selfish more times than I’d like to admit.    

When I witnessed my children playing with little baby toys in order to entertain a younger child, I realized that they learned to serve because their dad and I serve.  We know that kids learn more by our example than by our words.

I love what Jennifer Maggio wrote; Our service and deeds do not save us, but our salvation should prompt us to serve others. That service shows others Christ in a tangible way.

When a Christian serves, they’re not a server.

 A server is someone who works at a restaurant and...

…..Get’s paid to show up at work at a designated time.

….. Put’s on a smile because it’s part of their job.

….. Asks pre-meditated questions in order to connect with a customer.

….. Takes note of a customer’s likes and dislikes because their income depends on customer satisfaction

A servant of Christ is someone who serves others and….

….. Doesn’t expect anything in return.

…. Genuinely cares about the person they are helping.

…. Makes investments in other peoples’ lives.

….. Does things that are inconvenient and outside their comfort zone.

….. Gives God the glory.

….. Consistently lives a life that isn’t focused on themselves.

Authors are writing books, podcasts are being recorded and YouTube channels are popping up saying that you should only do what you want to do, all of the time, no exception.  They say If something doesn’t benefit you or further your goals then you shouldn’t do it.

We are being told that it’s imperative to take care of ourselves first before taking care of anyone else, that we need our “me” time.  While this advice sounds nice and it may be partially true, it’s partially false.  We do need to get the proper sleep in order to take care of my family or to have the energy to give to my employer.  We do need to eat right and get outdoors in order to be healthy enough to serve others.

The warning that if you give too much, you might lose yourself,  is a false assumption. 

The Christian is called by Jesus to serve others even when it’s inconvenient. 

Even though we can’t always jump in to help every person in need, we might be missing out on an opportunity to get the focus off of our own problems and help someone else when we wait until it’s convenient.

  What you do now is shifting the future.

 Is it even serving if we only help others when it’s convenient?

The words of Jesus will help with perspective.  I pray it will capture your heart and help you surrender to a better way.

John 13: 12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked,“Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

If you want your children to be generous…

  • show them by example.

  • let them see how much need there is in your city.

  • teach them to look beyond a persons’ circumstance.