In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he writes that we should have the same mindset as Christ. He writes, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8). So, what kind of mindset are we to have? Well, if you look at this passage, you see that Jesus lived the life that we could never live, died the death that we should have died, He took our punishment for us, and He humbled Himself for us. So, that is the mindset we are to have…humility.
I love what C.S. Lewis says of humility. He said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” Humility is self-forgetfulness and this is the mindset we should have as parents. So, to humble ourselves, to walk in humility is to ask for forgiveness. There is no more humbling thing than to ask for forgiveness from our kids. To go up to a four year old and say, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” That takes a lot of humility. You might think they’re only four, what do they know. They know you’re being proud and arrogant. It takes humility for us to apologize to our children.
True story: A couple of weeks ago, we were getting ready for church and I was extremely irritable. I know, hard to believe that I could be irritable, but I was. I wasn’t kind to my family that morning. So, on our way to church, I turned the radio off and I said to my family, “I don’t know what is wrong with you guys this morning, but you have caused me to have a bad morning and I think each of you owe me an apology.” Ok, maybe that’s now how it went, but I did turn of the radio and said, “I love my family, and I owe each of you an apology. I made this morning all about me and I didn’t honor you as my family. I didn’t respond it a righteous way to you guys this morning and I’m sorry; will you forgive me?” They did.
Here’s the thing, I had to drop my pride, my arrogance and my ego, think of myself less and have the same mindset as Christ. I showed humility and apologized. In doing this, I set an example for my children to follow and now my son is quick to apologize and ask for forgiveness? So, what is one way that you can imitate Christ’s humility this week? Is it saying you’re sorry to one of your children for a way you responded? Even if you have adult children and have a strained relationship with them because of something you did; have the same mindset as Jesus, think of yourself less, humble yourself and say “I’m sorry!”
~ Tim Hall
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at email@example.com)