. . . not for showing.
[ An example of training in Christian humbleness.]
Katie, an adorable little girl, about 5 or 6, was always glad to see visitors come, especially us. Soon after we arrived and news items exchanged, Katie eagerly ran to her Mother to whisper something in her ear. Mother leaned down to hear her little daughter’s request.
The visitors were a bit surprised to see Mother’s face becoming solemn, as she shook her head. Quietly, Mother said to her, “No, Katie. Shoes are for WEARING, not for showing.” If I hadn’t been sitting right next to the Mother, I would have never heard the exchange.
Little Katie was sorely disappointed. New shoes , not hand-me-downs, were a rare occurrence in her family for everyone. It was a momentous occasion for her to have brand NEW shoes, never worn before by others.
All Katie’s delightful anticipation left her face. Tears came, but she gracefully hid them in Mother’s side as she squirmed into the big chair to sit beside Mother. She sat quietly beside her Mother until the tears left and quietness returned.
Mother then suggested Katie prepare the table for a treat to serve the guests. And Katie eagerly hopped up, ready to be her sweet, wholesome self again, and interact with the visitors.
And we adults went on talking, sharing the news of the day, as though nothing had happened. This event happened 20 years ago and we have never forgotten the lesson in humbleness applied right before our eyes. Katie also has not forgotten it, although her Mother likely has.
What were those lessons learned, applied in this Christian home ?
The obvious one, of course, is humility. We do not parade our “new” items to others because that COULD be coming from a sense of pride for having something new. Also, it might make others feel bad if they have nothing new. Lesson one learned.
We do unto others
as we would have them do
We learn to think COMPASSIONATELY towards others.
What if they NEVER had new shoes and always had to wear cast-offs ? What if they NEVER even had cast-offs ?
What if they did not have parents who cared about them enough to provide any shoes at all ? Many children have had that experience to endure, in addition to family poverty.
Lesson two learned.
The next lesson is that DISAPPOINTMENT and sometime TEARS go along with humility and learning to be humble. We do not learn humility WHEN WE OBTAIN what we want. We learn humility through disappointments. We learn that the world does NOT revolve around us or our wishes. Proud Self does not rule nor reign in life.
Lesson three learned.
Next, we learn a GREAT GOOD lesson as we endure the correction of Self through humiliation. We learn to SUBMIT to authority, the authority The LORD has placed over our lives.
This fourth lesson stands us in GOOD stead as we grow in CHRIST. We learn to submit our Self unto JESUS our LORD. We learn to submit our fleshly man unto The HOLY SPIRIT.
We learn to embrace The Living Word of GOD and apply it to our lives whether we agree with it or not. The Word of GOD always limits our flesh.
And in so doing, it brings us a continual RE-NEWING of that New Life granted to us in the waters of Holy Baptism.
The 5th lesson little Katie showed us — for she had learned it well — was to run TO the one who corrected her ( her wise Mother or Father). Katie did not run AWAY from her Correctress or Corrector.
Instead, she gathered up her tears and immediately took her disappointment and hurt to the one who corrected her, knowing full well that Mother would receive her and comfort her sweetly even though Mother “brought” the correction to her character. It was a SWEET moment in their lives.
The next IMPORTANT lesson, #6 , that Katie had learned and showed us by her behavior was this: No harsh means of discipline were needed … if the correction was immediately embraced and received as “good. ”
Katie knew from experience that Mother was going to stand like a ROCK in her decision and no amount of whining, crying, or temper tantrums would ever change that decision because Mother thought it was the BEST thing for Katie’s character. It was to help her little child grow uprightly before The LORD.
She also was well aware that those very UNCOMFORTABLE means of correction would be applied to her bottom-most parts if she persisted in clamoring for her own way.
Young Katie could perceive that her correction was in keeping with the values of being a Christian. It was right in line with the other values in their CHRIST-centered home. It did NOT matter if she understood totally or even agreed with her Mother’s Christian value. She needed only to obey at that moment, and all would be well. Understanding would develop as she matured.
Lesson number 7 was obvious. The child responded with GREAT LOVE towards her Mother. The Mother responded with GREAT TENDERNESS towards her daughter.
You see, it was a Gift of Love to administer Righteous Correction. So Katie felt the correction as LOVE … after her tears dried.
Then Katie herself RESPONDED in love towards her Mother, not fleeing from her, not hardening her heart towards her, not accusing her wildly of “never giving me what I WANT !”
So, LOVE was established in that home at that moment in time. It was added to the other “moments of love” in that home, established over time, as those wise, Christian parents based their loving correction upon The Word of GOD and His+ Righteousness.
+ + +
Let us Pray:
O LORD, Our Blessed Heavenly FATHER, forgive me for being incorrigible and acting bad when YOU block my will.
I am sorry that I am not as well-behaved, O FATHER, as this little girl was, when I am refused what my heart delights in.
I repent for sneaking around and enforcing my will. I repent for being bitter and resentful towards others and towards YOU when I am disappointed.
Help me to humble myself to YOU. Help me not to kick against the goads when YOU send limitations and corrections to me.
I may not understand them either, but I TRUST YOU in your actions with me. Because YOU are GOOD, I trust that YOU are sending these hindrances of my will for my own GOOD, so I am not destroyed in some way.
Gracious Heavenly FATHER, these corrections may not be what I want, but I receive them from YOUR Hand of Love.
I give over my life , anew, to YOU and submit to YOUR love and keeping.
Help me to show more Love back to YOU by my sincere obedience to YOU, to YOUR SON+ JESUS, and to YOUR Holy Word.
This I humbly pray — knowing full well — that humility is far from being perfected yet, in my life. In the Name of my LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
+ + +
Let this mind be in you,
which was also in CHRIST JESUS,
Who+ being in the form of GOD,
thought it not a thing to be held on to,
but made HIMSELF+ of no reputation,
and took upon HIM+ the form of a servant
and was made in the likeness of men.
And being found in fashion as a man,
HE+ humbled HIMSELF+
and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.
Wherefore GOD has also highly exalted HIM+
and given HIM+ a Name which is above every Name,
that at the Name of
every knee should bow
of beings in Heaven, beings in earth,
and beings UNDER the earth !
and that every tongue should confess that
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD
to the glory of GOD The FATHER !
Philippians 2: 5- 11