"It was pride that changed angels into devils;
it is humility that makes men as angels."
"And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, 'It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.' And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost." ~Acts 12:21-23
Let's face it, there's a good way and a bad way to take a compliment.
As we were preparing to go out of town to visit some extended family for Christmas it dawned on me that although I had prepared a great many things, I had not prepared our children's hearts... for compliments.
WHERE DOES GOOD COME FROM?
When I say that I hadn't prepared our children for compliments, I don't mean the graceful way to say, "thank you" although that is helpful to discuss. We all certainly stumble over that one from time to time, right? Rather, I mean that inner process that thinks through a compliment. Here is what I tried to express to our little ones:
1. Any good gift comes from God("Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." James 1:17)
2. If we will and do what God desires that is only because He is at work in us, not because we are 'good people.' ("For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13)
3. We are each going to have gifts from the Lord. ("according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" 1 Peter 4:10) It's not really humble or honest to deny that. If we find we have a gifting, it should be our desire to use that to serve within the body of Christ. As believers we should never boast, except in the Lord. It is a silly notion to boast about how we are created... as if we created ourselves, right?
4. Herod did not know how to take a compliment. His pride separated him from God and brought judgment.
"In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." Psalm 10:4 NIV
"To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." Proverbs 8:13
"God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5
DO NOT MAKE THIS AT HOME
So, if you aren't sure if you have laid down this foundation work with your little ones, or if you've stumbled across a blueprint that looks something like this in your family room:
"How to get a pat on the back"
It just might be time for a heart to heart talk.
Blessings to you as you lead little hearts home!
Photo: Michaela with Pudge our "Christmas miracle." Sweet little Pudge arrived on Christmas day and we have been looking for his owners ever since. He's adorable, but please pray we find his home. : )