From How to Raise Selfless Kids in a Self-Centered World by Dave Stone
In ways both subtle and overt, our society teaches us that the most important thing in the world is to climb the ladder of success. Every day we’re bombarded with television programs, advertising, Internet sites, even friends and neighbors that drum the falsehood into us: higher, faster, richer, better. We hear it so long and so often that it becomes the subliminal rhythm behind our very heartbeats, such an integral part of our lives that we barely notice it anymore.
But make no mistake: that message affects us. It teaches us that it’s okay to be selfish and possessive and greedy and grasping. It reminds us to look out for number one. It affirms our basest instincts because, after all, we’re only human. Some people will do anything to scratch and claw their way to the top. When they’re at the top of the ladder, others will have to look up to them, and they can look down on others. And that can be quite exhilarating if you have nothing else to live for.
But we do. We have purpose. We have direction. We have the example of Christ. The opening line of Rick Warren’s best-selling book The Purpose-Driven Life reads, “It’s not about you.” Parents, if you want to raise selfless, Christlike kids, your words and actions must communicate to your children “It’s not about me.” But your teaching can’t stop there. You must also teach your kids “It’s not about them.”
Paul taught, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 NIV). This is the essence of Christian living. Life is not all about me. It’s not about what I want or what I can acquire. Life is not about getting people to look up to me or grabbing my fifteen minutes of fame. Life is about serving. Life is about becoming like Jesus.
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