Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Legacy of Greatness

I've just finished reading C.J. Mahaney's book Humility: True Greatness. The book is divided into three sections. Part one deals with the battle of humility versus pride, part two with our Savior and the secret of true greatness and part three with the practice of true humility. I particularly found the third part of the book very practical offering ways in which we can cultivate and practice humility in every area of our lives.

As a mother of two, (and with a third on the way) much of my life revolves around the caring and rearing of my children. So how can I cultivate humility with regard to my children? Mahaney's chapter, "A Legacy of True Greatness" looks at the role of humility in parenting. I found this tremendously insightful, and needless to say challenging. One thing struck me in particular: what are my ambitions for my children and does humility play a role in my ideal for their lives?

Mahaney asks:
Are any of your ambitions for your child more important to you than their cultivation of humility and servanthood - the basis for true greatness as biblically defined? Are any of these ambitions more important to you than their learning to serve others for the glory of God? In other words, are you more interested in temporal recognition for your child than you are in his eternal reward? Ultimately, that is what parenting is mostly about - it's about preparing our children for the final day.
As I began to think about this, I was once again reminded of the way in which God himself exemplifies an 'ambition for humility'. Christmas is a wonderful time in which we can meditate on the coming of Christ. The will of the Father was that his Son would set aside splendour and glory to be born of a virgin, to be wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in an animlas feeding trough. And yet, such humility did not end with the beginning of our saviour's life, but encompassed from the beginning of time the salvation plan of God.

We read in Isaiah some remarkable words, telling us of the Father's plan of humility, obedience, and suffering for his Son, so that we might know peace with God and that Christ would be exalted above all, to the glory of God the Father. Meditate on these words, and as you gather with family and friends over this Christmas period, encourage and challenge each other to take seriously the call to prepare our children for true greatness.

"Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied." Isaiah 53:10-11

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