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Humility: A Necessary Mindset

Humility: A Necessary Mindset

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Walk in humility. You’re in good company when you do!”
Walk in humility. You’re in good company when you do!”

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Published by: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on Aug 06, 2014
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08/06/2014

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Humility: A Necessary Mindset By Diana Waring
I remember the day my 10-year-
old son, Michael, walked in and announced to me, ―Mom,
did you know that there is such a thing as a 20-
foot crocodile?‖ I replied absentmindedly,  ―No, there isn‘t.‖ He set his jaw a little more firmly and said, ―Yes, Mom, there are 20
-foot
crocodiles!‖ I looked more pointedly at this tow
-headed bundle of energy and said
forcefully: ―No, Michael, there are not 20
-foot crocodiles!! I know, because I grew up in Miami where ther
e are alligators. You are mistaken.‖ He stood his ground and said with all of the determination he could muster, ―Mom, I read it in a book!!!‖ In growing frustration, I said: ―Okay. Bring me this book.‖ 
 He did. And there it was
—in a little children‘s book—
a story about the largest saltwater crocodile ever found, off the coast of Darwin, Australia. Oh, my goodness. My worst nightmare was alive and swimming around Australia! Who knew??? That, my friends, is but one example of what happens to homeschool parents all the time. Our eager-beaver kids learn things we never knew, they grasp concepts we never understood, and they gleefully inform us of fascinating tidbits we never taught them, like the fact that we have nasty things living in our mattresses.
What‘s
 a parent to do?
Humble yourself and learn from them! Our job description as ―homeschooler‖ does not include ―knowing everything,‖ so there‘s no shame in humbly acquiring new information.
 
And, of course, in my case, I had to also say three VIP words: ―I was wrong.‖ 
 
But, I‘ve not been wrong just about factoids. There have been plenty of times when I was
wrong in how I handled a difficulty, a stress, or a problem. For instance, I was the ringleader of my family when it came to trying to help my daughter become more flexible while traveling. Here is an example: In the morning, as the five of us would pile in the van on our way to the next homeschool convention, I would say brightly,
 ―Hey, how does Mexican food sound tonight?‖ One and all would happily chime
 in, positively salivating at the thought of salsa and chips, tacos and guacamole. However, after many miles and multiplied hours on the road, we would pull into a town where I would spot an
Italian (or seafood or Chinese or . . .) restaurant. ―Oh, does th
at look good!!!!! Shall we eat
here instead????‖ 
 Enthusiastic eruptions would occur in every part of the van
except for one. And we always knew which one it would be. Nightly, Melody would be the dissenting vote. Every time. This is where being wrong with a capital W comes into the story. Assuming I knew so much about teaching my daughter to be more flexible, I would make cutting little remarks
designed to accomplish my goal. Remarks like ―Oh, Mel, you need to chill out,‖ and ―Come
on, Dear, you gotta lea
rn to be flexible!‖ and so on. It was seldom said with any thought
about how she might be feeling. Then one day I read a book. Remember what I wrote about the job description for homeschool parents
—that you don‘t have to know everything in order to qualif 
y? Well, this
 
was one time I learned something new that rocked my world. It said very clearly that learners like my daughter could be as flexible as anyone else . . . if they were given time to adjust to the new idea.
If. But I hadn‘t given her the benefi
t of that precious adjustment time. So, after asking God for His mercy and forgiveness, I humbly went to my daughter to apologize for the wrong attitudes I had held and the cutting remarks I had made. Lesson learned.
It‘s not easy to humble ourselves, especially when we are The Parents! Believe me; I feel
your pain! But, it is absolutely vital for each of us to come to grips with the fact that when
we‘re wrong, we‘re wrong. And what we model for our children at that po
int will become an authentic and powerful demonstration of true Christianity in their lives.
 ―Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‗God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble‘ ‖ 
 
(1 Peter 5:5, NKJV). If we want our children to
observe God‘s grace and to be personally impacted by it, walking in humility will provide a
perfect opportunity. There is one more aspect of humility as a necessary mindset that needs to be addressed. When we are involved in teaching, learning, and academic education in general, there is a subtle temptation to become arrogant about what we think we know. The universal appeal of this arrogance touches everyone: teacher and student, young and old, third-grader and Ph.D.! The Scriptu
re tells us the truth when it says, ―Talk no more so very proudly; let no
arrogance come from your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed (1 Samuel 2:3, NKJV).
Another passage gives us an answer to this plight: ―Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies‖ (1
Corinthians 8:1, NKJV). The antidote is agape-style love: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails‖ (1 Corinthians
13:1
8, NKJV).
Walk in humility. You‘re in good company when you do!
 Stay relational, Diana

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